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Adagio Sanctus Ignis album cover
3.95 | 109 ratings | 8 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Second Sight (6:07)
2. The Inner Road (5:46)
3. In Nomine... (5:04)
4. The Stringless Violin (7:01)
5. Seven Lands of Sin (11:41)
6. Order of Enlil (4:20)
7. Sanctus Ignis (4:08)
8. Panem et Circences (5:22)
9. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover) (4:56)

Total Time 54:25

2001 European bonus track:
10. Niflheim (instrumental, rough home demo 2000) (4:05)

2001 Japanese bonus tracks:
10. Nozama (2001 demo, instrumental version) (4:25)
11. The Stringless Violin (1999 demo, instrumental version) (5:15)

2010 European bonus track:
10. Nozama (instrumental demo version) (4:05)

Limited edition (NTS PROMO 011) bonus disc:
1. Message de Stéphan Forté (0:45)
2. The Stringless Violin (demo 1999) (5:18)
3. The Stringless Violin (demo 2000) (6:31)

Total Time 12:34

Line-up / Musicians

- David Readman / vocals
- Stéphan Forté / guitar, keyboards
- Richard Andersson / keyboards
- Franck Hermanny / bass
- Dirk Bruinenberg / drums

- Sabine Härtel / violin solo (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Isabel de Amorim

CD Nothing to Say ‎- 3067802 (2001, France)
CD LMP 0105-031 (2001, Europe) with 1 bonus track
CD Avalon - MICP-10241 (2001, Japan) with 2 bonus tracks

2CD Nothing To Say - NTS PROMO 011 (2001, France) Limited edition with bonus disc

CD XIII BIS Records - 70022640773 (2010, Europe) with 1 bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ADAGIO Sanctus Ignis ratings distribution

(109 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ADAGIO Sanctus Ignis reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Vanwarp
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.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Great Symphonic Power Metal album!

Having been satisfied with the "Underworld" album, my journey to Adagio's music continues with "Sanctus Ignis" - the band's debut album in 2001. To my surprise, I also enjoy this album very much. Now I understand why my colleague metal friend Michelle told me long time ago that the band named as ADAGIO was a great and I thought that it must had been a metal band. Why? I heard the name of the band from a friend who is a metal head. He always talk about metal bands - of course including Dream Theater, Kamelot, Stratovarious and Yngwie Malmsteen.

My first spin of "Sanctus Ignis" just started, I think, about a month ago when I made a decision to ride a bicycle to work. Well, nothing matter actually for most people but it meant something for me. The first day I biked to work was started while listening to the full album of "Sanctus Ignis" and I did enjoy it very well. My journey of approx 50 KM (home - office - home) knew nothing on being tired or bored with the journey, even it made it fruitful and entertaining. Especially, I used a decent Senheizer earphone with a good audio quality that made my PDA MP3 player transmitted great quality. Of course, I did not enjoy this album only while biking. I did spin it also at home to get full enjoyment of the album.

Why liking this album?

There are many reasons on why I like this album very much despite the fact that this kind of music can be heard with bands like Symphony X, Kamelot, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc. Well, what I can tell you is that Adagio music is much grandiose than the others especially on combining the orchestra into their power metal style. I elaborate the reasons on liking this album as follows:

Power. Oh yeah . this album has "power" to elevate your emotion - well, it does happen with me in many occasion. There is no such thing as mellow track offered by Adagio throughout the contents of this album. All tracks full with energy and they flow nicely from opening track "Second Sight" right way through to bonus track "Niflheim". When I heard the opening track "Second Sight" my pulse ran faster than normal rate and my emotion boosted like a rocket. I feel like I'm running to my final destiny of life. It's very captivating right from the intro part, interlude of guitar solo by the band's leader Stephan Forté. Oh yes, of course there are some transition pieces where the music take curve lines into softer part with a very nice (and wonderful!) clavinet work like in approx minute 5:29. Oh my God . I like this music break! It continues beautifully with great guitar solo and powerful riffing of second track "The Inner Road" (5:45) where my pulse run even faster now because the music is more energetic. The peak of all power the music of this album produces is when the album title track is being played. Oh man .. It's so powerful and it serves as true pulse accelerator for me. This title track might be considered as normal power metal tune but it has great melody and wonderful interlude parts with classical touch and stunning guitar solo. Oh, I almost forget, that this also has powerful riffing!!!

Neat Composition. Power itself does not mean anything for me if the music is not neatly composed and put in an excellent arrangement. Fortunately, Adagio seems masterful on this issue because all of the nine tracks of this album are neatly composed. Bravo Stephan! And remember . this is just the beginning of the band's career and they demonstrated their capability already to the progressive metal world that they can compose excellent music. Why I say so is because of throughout the music Adagio offers many great subtleties that are lumped together nicely into the music. This includes how the band combines orchestral parts into different movements of the music. Of important notice is the band's interpretation of Led Zeppelin's legendary song "Immigrant Song" which the band takes instrumental approach to express their interpretation. Oh man, this is one of great covers that I ever encounter in rock music world. Adagio takes different approach in melody of the song and only maintains the riffs. The interlude part with eastern nuance plus violin work is truly amazing!

Melody. This wraps up everything required for an excellent music. If I got power and neat composition without excellent melody, it's gonna be a catastrophe for me. But that is NOT the case with this album. Each individual has its own nice melody that makes the music flows naturally and beautifully without any little flaw. The band has combined all the elements nicely: power, composition and melody so that the result is very captivating. Imagine if the band only sings the melody without good arrangement and necessary power (to add "drive") - it's gonna be a "dull" music. Even with the simple melody like track 3 "In Nomine ." (5:04), it tends to be boring. But the band has brilliantly added the classical touches and orchestration, plus excellent guitar and keybord works. It becomes so wonderful.

Why (you are) NOT liking this album?

Even though I appreciate this album highly, it might not fit your tastes. I try to figure out things that might not favor you for liking this album. First, if you do not enjoy any music with metal parts / influenced, you'd better not to buy this CD. Second, if your tastes so far are revolving around symphonic prog music like old King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, it's gonna be difficult for you to accept (and therefore appreciate) this album fairly. Third, you might be an Yngwie Malmsteen fan and feel getting bored with what so called neo-classical metal. Fourth, you want to hear something new because this kind music is not invented by Adagio. There were bands that did similar things before Adagio.

For me personally, this album deserves five stars rating. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Considered by many to be the French version of Symphony X mixed with Rhapsody Of Fire, the progressive power metal band ADAGIO was formed by guitarist Stéphan Forté in the year 2000 after graduating from the CMCN music school (now known as the Music Academy International.) The band was initiated for the love of Yngwie Malmsteem's virtuosic neoclassical shedding style which Forté mastered without missing a beat. While ADAGIO would later develop a stronger symphonic side of its person a with choirs and elements of progressive rock, this 2001 debut SANCTUS IGNÍS showcases a fairly straight forward style of progressive power metal much in the vein of the US act Symphony X to the point that this could really pass as some lost album of the New York based prog metal champions.

The band originally formed in Montpellier in the south of France but has since relocated to Paris. Ironically the moniker ADAGIO is an Italian term that means "at ease" and refers to a slow tempo whereas the band itself is known for its extremely fast tempos. While not exactly cranking up a storm at the level of say Dragonforce, ADAGIO does turn up the heat on much of SANCTUS IGNÍS with the emphasis on Forté's neoclassical guitar shredding style however often it does site back in the mix while tapestries of keyboard sound dominate the soundscape. This album consists of 9 tracks and races past the 58 minute mark and while the album contains no sprawling 20 minute behemoths it does have one track, "Seven Lands Of Sin" that just misses the 12 minute mark.

When you're listening to SANCTUS IGNÍS you really just can't shake the Symphony X comparisons because at this stage ADAGIO is really the perfect clone of one of the US's most referred progressive power metal bands. There is a distinct classical underpinning for melodies with stomping guitar riffs that build up tension and climax with sizzling solos carried out with power metal gusto. David Readman has particularly strong vocals and belts out these demanding vocal performances with ease although his talents are overshadowed by the fact he sounds like a gazillion other vocalists out there which is pretty much the problem with ADAGIO's debut in every regard. This album simply lacks an ounce of originality that sets it apart from any other album in the demanding world of progressive power metal.

The saving grace of SANCTUS IGNÍS is that the musicianship is top notch and the album is not at all an unpleasant listening experience in the least. If you are hell bent for leather to track down every possible band that worships the alter of bands like Symphony X and Rhapsody of Fire then ADAGIO will give you orgasmic sensations until your eyes bulge out however like many bands of this ilk, ADAGIO at this stage is woefully bereft of inspiration and going through the motions for their own sake. Add to that the band isn't nearly as accomplished as either Symphony X or Rhapsody in constructing interesting compositions that display a wide range of motifs that construct a much larger movement. Music like this has to have a higher purpose that allows the progressive power metal to support otherwise it just feels like an empty shell. I would say that SANCTUS IGNÍS is superior to the first two Symphony X albums but pales in comparison to some of that band's later efforts. Extraordinary in execution but underwhelming in the compositional department.

3.5 rounded down

Latest members reviews

4 stars Adagio's debut was a very promising album, filled with excellent musicianship, solid songwriting, and fairly good production. This album, along with the follow-up Underworld, are both excellent neo-classical progressive albums. Additionally, this album is the only one by Adagio that is completely ... (read more)

Report this review (#294955) | Posted by Mystery | Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Are they the European counterpart to Symphony X?, I don't think so, it's more than that. They're born not as a response to someone or something else. They create a balance between harmony and a wise sense of their musical faculties manifesting the way they feel the music and not trying to be a ... (read more)

Report this review (#233755) | Posted by Epsilon | Friday, August 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A NICE DEBUT WITH SOME THINGS TO FIX It's been a while since I reviewed my last album, and I think it's time to get back to the business. This is the first release that these French guys delivered to the Progressive Metal Scene and I think it's a pretty decent debut with its remarkable things ... (read more)

Report this review (#136307) | Posted by MadcapLaughs84 | Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album from the "French" act is based in a deep influence from the neo-classic rock (in a Malmsteen's way) and mixed with progressive elements (in this case sometimes). The guitar's work from the future guitar master Stephan Forté is absolutely great, in each note he catches the enough ins ... (read more)

Report this review (#108743) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Adagio is a symphonic prog/power metal band built around french guitarist Stefan Forté. As a french guy too, it's a shame I didn't discover this band earlier, because the music played here is of top quality. It's heavy, fast paced, very symphonic metal with a lot of classical influences, a cro ... (read more)

Report this review (#73788) | Posted by zaxx | Saturday, April 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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