Christopher Lee just started talking. I need to change my trousers. He did a pretty grand job on Symphony of Enchanted Lands Pt. 2, possibly the gayest name ever for a metal album, and despite some killer artwork, was mostly Luca Turilli’s brother playing weird folk instruments and not a lot of metal. I have no idea about the follow up, but the day I pay for another RoF album is the day I pull my own toenails out.

Thankfully, TFToA is a proper power metal album. The huge epic sound that we’ve to know (and perhaps, love) of RoF is still ever present and as an experience TFToA is a great record. Rhapsody of Fire have never really into the massive choruses of Eeeeeeeemarld Svoooord times for a while now, so there’s not a lot here to please your avid stadium killer fanatic. It’s also as shreddy a paper shredder shredding a box of Shreddies, so the plank spankers will be kept exceedingly happy. It’s quite an improvement back from the days when it was much more focused on the power, and I hate the term ‘Hollywood metal’, but RoF seem to be edging ever closer to it; we’d probably have to have our low jaws surgically repaired if they’d been recruited to do the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. However, if you don’t even have a passing interest in power metal avoid this like the plague, you will hate

I was never the biggest fan of the Italian’s earlier work, all the folk nonsense got a little bit twee and despite some really cool folk songs, it was very hard to take it seriously as part of their discography and less like an afterthought because they had twenty minutes of studio time left. I’m happy to say that TFToA is more about dragons than ever and less about fondling other men in leather jerkins.