It’s my birthday today and for my birthday I just want to listen to crazy epic, ridiculously awesome, over the top European power metal, and who does that better than Luca Turilli? To answer that somewhat rhetorical question, Blind Guardian, but in close second is Luca Turilli. In fact, I might not even compare the two because while both are incredible examples of power metal, I think they both approach it from different angles.

Let me back up for a second. Luca Turilli is the angelic and prolific guitarist of Rhapsody, or Rhapsody of Fire as they like to be called nowadays. They had some sort of conflict and Luca took a hike to start his own version of Rhapsody, while the rest stuck to it and went with the Rhapsody of Fire moniker. Before that happened though Luca struck out on his own for a couple of solo albums, the first two of said adventure are absolute classics of the genre. Prophet of the Last Eclipse being the second.

See, with Luca you just don’t get synth driven euro-flavored power metal. You get his entire grand vision of what power metal should be. Every album he works on is a conceptual album. Some of the Rhapsody albums spread the story across multiple albums, revisiting their fictional world over and over again. Prophet is no different. This time Luca shifts the focus from a fantasy D&D type world to something he calls “Symphonic Cosmic Metal.” Symphonic is a good way of describing it because if ever power metal was a symphonic force, it’s with Luca. His virtuosic guitar playing, combined with as many symphony type elements as you can find, fused with weird, stellar and spacey sounds make a truly epic album. Many bands use the symphonic style but Luca truly grasps how to do it and this would be something, if performed with a full symphony, would be one of the best live performances ever.

While the show is about Luca, I would be remiss if I overlooked the vocalist,  Olaf Hayer, who encompasses everything I love about power metal vocalists. Powerful, operatic and soaring. He also has a solo project, Dionysus, that is amazing as well.

So there you have Luca Turilli in a nutshell. If you want your brains blown out by power metal, I suggest you put this on, or anything the man is involved with really, but his solo stuff is top notch and highly underrated in the genre.