Adagio – Archangels in Black

Adagio – Archangels in Black – 4.5/5
{Link Removed at Request}

Upon doing my research, I happened upon a review in metal archives that it must be said, I found rather appalling, believing the low rating wholly unjustified, though not unexpected. Described as progressive symphonic metal, I’d have added neo-classical and power to that description, but even that doesn’t describe the tone presented here. If you go into this expecting the images this usually conjures, be prepared for a surprise. This is aggressive bordering on melodic death metal more often than not, with no shortage of a deep gothic atmosphere, deathly growls and more solo’s than you can count, this certainly satisfies the description of being unique.

The drumming is very basic, creating a framework to build upon. Whilst many layers present themselves, the drums are given little share of the spotlight. Instead the spotlight lies on the incredible guitar work, from both the bassist and the lead guitarist. The bassist comes through thick and clear, providing many of the main riffs for the album, deep and heavily distorted the atmosphere this creates is nothing short of impressive.

And this is only topped by the magnificent acrobatic display shown by the lead guitarist. Literally packed with solo’s, from the upbeat neo-classical, the slow emotional and melodic, the dark and twisted, the groove style riffs, the variety and manner in which they are conducted leaves no shadow in my mind that this album should place right up there with the Romeo’s and Petrucci’s in the genre. But he isn’t the only one with his fair share of solo’s here, the keyboard player too adds his touch. From the heavily classical inspired introductions and interludes, to the ‘keytar’ solo’s often played off of the guitarist in a sort of guitar duel, and the manner in which he succeeds in adding a second layer of atmosphere, with his riffs intertwined with the guitarist and the bassist, all performing simultaneously in coherent manner.

Unfortunately, the vocals are the main point in which this album falls short. When confronted with an aggressive and powerful instrumental force, the vocals have to more than match this in order to power over it. Don’t get me wrong, the new vocalist on this album is more than competent, he simply fails in adding that final kick in the line-up.

I went into this album with high expectations – something I usually try to avoid for fear of disappointment – but this album has risen to the challenge, and succeeded in producing a perfect blend of their darker classical take in ‘underworld,’ and the more standard affair neo-classical style in ‘dominate,’ as they intended. This won’t be remembered as an equal to their masterpiece with ‘underworld’ but it certainly came damn close.

Highlights: Vamphyria, Undead, Archangels in Black

P.S. Yes, I did laugh when I realised how many genres this seems to fall under. If I could shorten it, I would, but I couldn’t see how. They’re all present, and fairly prominent.

By T. Bawden

Album: Archangels in Black
Artist: Adagio
Released: 2009
Rating: 5/5
{Link Removed at Request}

I decided to start off by reviewing one of my favorite albums of all-time. Adagio is a Symphonic Progressive Metal band. With the following members Vocals: Christian Palin, who is the bands third singer, he had sent a demo to the band in 2004 but didn't get accepted due to his deep Finnish accent. Lead Guitar/Backup Vocals: Stephan Forté, who is considered to be the genius force behind Adagio. Bassist: Franck Hermanny. Keyboards: Kevin Codfert. And lastly on Drums: Eric Lébailly.

If you are a fan of fast double bass playing then the drummer busts in to drum beats, great and catchy breakdowns, memorable buildups, and mind-blowing solos. This is an album for you. The album in my opinion has the greatest song to start off an album I have ever heard my entire life. The opening song (Vamphryi) has a bit of everything that is in the album. A great start of course, as it automatically tells you what the album is like. Telling you to not listen, or to kick back and enjoy the music (while of course head banging).

The album also has killer riffs that will make you want to listen to the song five times more. (Example) In fact this song is filled with sweet riffs. Personally, I swear I could listen to this album around 80 times till I might think it’s just OK, so this album you will most likely never get tired of. The keyboardist Kevin Codfert has many brilliant passages on his piano, giving a feeling of darkness. Vamphyri at 2:38 has good example of such, then there is a sweet build up, and an amazing solo following closely afterward. And even on Vamphryi it has a synthesized solo.

I enjoy Stephen Forte's touch and feel so much that IMO, he goes up with Eric Johnson for best touch and feel with a guitar. I think that his style of playing fits perfectly with their music. The drums and guitar fit perfectly together. And Eric LeBailly's drumming fits perfectly with the guitar as well. The atmosphere of the album is mostly dark and eery, which is why the background violins and piano breakdowns fit seamlessly to the music. Overall this is simply perfection fit into one album, and is a VERY highly recomended album by me.

The highlights of the album: Vamphryi, The Fifth Ankh, and Archangels in Black. Every other song from the album is equally good, but IMO these stick out as the best of the album

By S. Monyette


Anonymous said…
Love it
Anonymous said…
hello there thanks for your grat post, as usual ((o: