RHAPSODY keyboardist Alex Staropoli recently spoke to Holland's Lords of Metal about the group's upcoming full-length effort, "Symphony Of Enchanted Lands Part 2 - The Dark Secret".
"Every album is a step in RHAPSODY's career," Alex said when asked about the group's musical evolution on the new album. "We are going through an unbelievable majestic progress. We have the orchestra, we have the choir and we have Christopher Lee narrating. This project will show you what we had in mind all along with RHAPSODY: the most majestic sound possible. We call it film-score metal. That is a great feeling: finally we sound like what we wanted to. That was not possible in the past, due to various reasons: technology, money, support and the right contacts."
Asked how much influence the "Lord of the Rings" films have had on the new RHAPSODY CD, Alex replied, "The movies changed the way I look at our music and fantasy in general. Luca has always been the visionary of RHAPSODY, the one who imagined all the stories and translated them to lyrics. He always had this big picture in his mind about what the world in our saga looked like, but it never really came across to me. 'Lord of the Rings' was a revelation for me: this long fantasy movie that was epic and impressive. For the first time I was able to understand what Luca tried to create all along with RHAPSODY: images of snowy mountains, fast forests and large battles. I can imagine people might link [director] Peter Jackson's works to our new album: the music very much works as the score to an epic fantasy movie. We originally intended to write an album entirely dedicated to the 'Lord of the Rings' films. Unfortunately, we could not get the rights to use the original names and events, so we decided to record instead the album that became 'The Dark Secret'."
With regards to "Lord of the Rings" actor Christopher Lee's involvement on the new CD, Alex said, "We could not believe it when we heard that we had the possibility of having him on our new album. That was such an honor. We were blown away. He has this voice… amazing! We recorded his parts during a couple of days in a London-based studio. He was a pleasant man to work with. He liked to have fun in the studio. How much did we pay him? I cannot say that. It was a lot, but it was worth it. It was all about delivering the message to the listener in the most compelling way possible."
Read Alex Staropoli's entire interview with Lords of Metal at this location.