When I first heard Tom Hess was joining Rhapsody Of Fire, I was stoked. His virtuoso guitar playing is a great addition to the band. As with any ROF release, this album contains great musicianship from each member of the band in an all around solid effort.
Musically speaking, this album continues along the path set by The Frozen Tears Of Angels. The tracks have excellent production along with speedy tempos, melodic guitar playing and huge orchestral sections as to be expected. Additionally, this album contains 3 tracks sung in Italian and a 19 minute epic track Heroes of the Waterfall's Kingdom.
Ad Infinitum opens the album as a cool instrumental opening containing choir voices, a Gothic feel and the first appearance of Christopher Lee. This track really sets the stage for the rest of the album and gets right into it as it moves to the intense speed of "From Chaos to Eternity". One of my favorite tracks on the album is "Anima Perduta". This track is a great ballad with a very operatic feel. This track along with "Tempesta di Fuoco" and "Tornado" are the non-English songs on the album. The latter songs being great operatic metal tunes."I Belong to the Stars" is very accessible and contains a nice chorus. Finally, "Heroes of the Waterfalls' Kingdom" is the track everyone was talking about due its length. If you are a big ROF fan, you will most likely find many unexpected surprises littered throughout this epic piece.
Overall, I have nothing bad to say about this album. Solid effort from a classic band. Must have for ROF fans, recommended listening for those who are looking to get into power/operatic metal in general.