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Adagio - Sanctus Ignis CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.96 | 106 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Adagio is the creation of french premier guitarist Stephan Forte. In 2001, he surrounded himself with some very capable musicians for his debut album. He got David Readman (Pink Cream 69) on vocals and Dirk Bruinenberg (Elegy) on drums. Stephan Forte programmed the keyboards himself and obtained the services of Richard Anderssen of Majestic for all the complex keyboard solo parts. To round out the band you got Franck Hermanny on bass.

So, who is Stephan Forte?

At a very young age, Forte was heavily influenced by guitar virtuoso Ygnwie Malmsteen, and later by artists such as Shawn Lane and Allan Holdsworth. After practicing an average of 10 hours a day for what must have been most of his childhood life, Forte breezed into the prestigious "Ecole des Musiques Actuelles de Nancy" in France. His penchant for "baroque" music and "neo-classical" influences can be found spread all over his debut album.

Forte's guitar playing is simply impeccable. At times he will remind you of Yngwie Malmsteen and at other moments John Petrucci. You want specifics, then check out his commanding solos on the second half of "Panem et Circences" or his outstanding guitar work on the instrumental "Order of Enlil." In fact, you can actually select any track and find some truly amazing guitar work.

What to expect from Adagio's debut album?

The music here is heavy and very intense and true Symphonic Prog Metal doesn't get any better than this. Classical influences abound, progressive elements throughout, some double bass drums, passionate piano passages, crunchy guitar riffs and amazing guitar and keyboard solos, its all here for your enjoyment! There's no denying Forte's strong songwriting abilities. For orchestration purposes Forte used the "Avigon Symphony Orchestra" and for choir sections, "The Ensemble Vocal de Lyon."

Lets move on to the tracks, shall we?

What a great opener "Second Sight" is, just a wonderful song from beginning to end. The listener is introduced to Adagio in all its glory with piano, choir, orchestrations and great guitar lines in tow.

"The Inner Road" moves along a little more aggressively while "In Nomine" is a little more classically influenced and ranks as one of the highlights on the album.

The organ intro to "The Stringless Violin" left me breathless for a moment. This is an awesome track about facing death and accepting your life for what it is...a very emotional and powerful moment on the album! So much variety, so very rich, so very fulfilling!

"The Seven Lands of Sin" lies at the heart of the album. This epic track encompasses everything you might possibly want to know about Adagio.

"Panem and Circences" is another FAV of mine. This track just grew on me with each listen of the album, and of all the tracks I found myself anxious to hear this one again the most. The whole album is great but this track sort-a sticks out from the bottom half of the album for me!

What to say about Adagio's cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song"? It is a refreshing interpretation...perhaps not the best I've heard but good nonetheless. The album includes a bonus track titled "Niflheim", 4 extra minutes of music for a total playing time of 58m35s.

There is an effortless feel and flow to Adagio's music. You will be mesmerized by it as well! I have always enjoyed progressive metal & symphonic power metal, but with the coming of Adagio, the quality of the music had never reached this level of overall satisfaction with me.

Genre & Style of Music played here - Progressive Symphonic Neo-classical Metal. Similar in a way to: Therion, Royal Hunt, Blind Guardian, Symphony X and Stratovarius.

Vanwarp | 4/5 |


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