Kings of the Nordic is Luca Turilli's first solo album. This is also Turilli's first real break from Rhapsody, his main group. Although, there is very little difference in either style or substance between Kings of the Nordic Twilight and most of the Rhapsody material.

It is somewhat difficult to explain the 'style' of Luca Turilli as it applies to this album. Let me just throw some buzz words at you. Neo-classical fantasy-based progressive rock. Elven narrative speed metal. Well, it sounds even stranger. But strange in a good kind of way.

Turilli successfully manages to fuse a really neat driving metal sound with his beautiful voice, as well as classical instruments. Studio recorded violin, viola, cello, and double bass players are included on a number of tracks in Kings of the Nordic Twilight. Along with harpsicord, flute, and various other traditional European instruments, ends up giving Kings of the Nordic Twilight an 'older' classical feeling.

Probably the biggest drawback to Kings of the Nordic Twilight is not really music related. That drawback is... the fact that it is really pretty cheesy. The narrative is usually not too bad, but it sometimes veers into 'ludicrously nerdy' territory. Take for example the lyrics to one of the nerdier songs.

'The Ancient Forest of Elves'

To the winds I will sing,
The Tale of the King
Who reigned in peace and love
Of the one of the man
Who crossed the path
of the Ancient Forest of Elves.

Horribly cheesy, eh?

Furthermore, one some tracks, the story is advanced by a narrator, who ends up being the weakest part of the actual audio experience. He really doesn't have a commanding voice, and does not contrast well with the music. Patrick Stewart's narration of Rick Wakeman's audio journey Return to the Center of the Earth is an example of the way a musical/narrative combination should be done.

One of my good friends, a decent metal drummer, listened to some of this music, and really dug it. But he was ultimately put off by the cheese factor of the subject matter, and the narrator.

The music is great. Very complex, and very musical. Kings of the Nordic Twilight is worth your time and money. However, don't let any girls (who aren't cool with the nerdy stuff) catch you listening to the nerdier tracks.

Track Listing

  1. To Magic Horizons
  2. Black Dragon
  3. Legend Of Steel
  4. Lord Of The Winter Snow
  5. Princess Aurora
  6. The Ancient Forest Of Elves
  7. Throne Of Ice
  8. Where Heroes Lie
  9. Warrior's Pride
  10. Kings Of The Nordic Twilight

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