RHAPSODY OF FIRE ARE NOW THE L.A. GUNS OF POWER METAL
Look up “bad business” in the dictionary and you’ll find two pictures of L.A. Guns, both current incarnations of the band side-by-side. Phil Lewis L.A. Guns and Tracii Guns L.A. Guns have been cannibalizing each others’ income, confusing fans and making complete assholes out of themselves in the press for years. Which version is the real L.A. Guns? Does anyone besides Lewis and Guns really give a fuck?
Italian power metallers Rhapsody of Fire are about to go the same route. Rhapsody of Fire hold an important spot in the power metal canon, and truth be told I’m a casual fan. The group has released eight studio albums over their 18-year career and stayed the course despite power metal’s perpetual un-coolness; no one can deny them that. But now they’re making a complete circus out of themselves by pulling an L.A. Guns and splitting into two versions, both of dubious credibility.
Headlines have been sweeping the metalsphere of a supposed Rhapsody of Fire breakup, only it’s not really a full-fledged breakup: the members of the band are taking a page from the L.A. Guns book of retardation, splitting into two separate entities who will both continue touring and making music at the same time. One group will continue on under the Rhapsody of Fire moniker while the other will use the band’s old name, simply Rhapsody. According to a press release from the band’s label, Nuclear Blast:
Due to the latest legal agreements currently in force, Alex Staropoli will go on with the RHAPSODY OF FIRE name keeping singer Fabio Lione, drummer Alex Holzwarth, and guitarist Tom Hess.
Following the same agreements and the original name’s common ownership, guitarist Luca Turilli will release his future works with a new band as RHAPSODY, which will include guitarist Dominique Leurquin, bassist Patrice Guers, and drummmer Alex Holzwarth.
Frankly I don’t know/care enough about the members of Rhapsody of Fire to spend time on making a correlation between the two new versions of Rhapsody / Rhapsody of Fire (sharing the same drummer, wtf???) and the Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns versions of L.A. Guns, but this spells disaster anyway you slice it. Sure, everyone says the split is “amicable” now, but wait until both sides are dealing with confused show promoters who don’t follow metal news closely and don’t know what they’re really getting, confused fans who show up at one band’s show expecting to see the other, bitter ex-bandmates, disputes over publishing rights… yeah, this can’t be good! But at least we at MetalSucks will be here to report on the carnage as it unfolds.