Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2006
Now, I'd like to introduce you to one of my personal favourites.
Because they released Underworld.
If you don't have it - get it.
Be sure to check 'em out if the name is new to you - especially all of those who dig symphonic stuff.
Genre: Progressive Symphonic Extreme Power Metal (yeah I guess I should go easy on the genre definitions :D)
Formed: 1997 in Montpellier (France)
Stéphan Forté - Guitars (guest on "Trance State" by Red Circuit)
Gustavo Monsanto - Vocals (formerly in Overdose(Bra)
Franck Hermanny - Bass
Eric Lebailly - Drums
Kevin Codfert - Keyboards
David Readman - Vocals (2000-2004) (also in Pink Cream 69)
Vitalij Kuprij- Keyboards (also in Artension, Mark Boals, Ring Of Fire)
Richard Andersson - Keyboards (2000-2003) ( also in Majestic, Time Requiem, Space Odyssey, EviL masquerade, Silver Seraph)
Dirk Bruinenberg - Drums (2000-2004) (also in Vulture(Hol), Patrick Rondat, formerly in Elegy, Abyss(Hol))
2001 - Sanctus Ignis (album)
2003 - Underworld (album)
2004 - A Band In Upperworld (live album)
2006 - Dominate (album)
In 1997, one year after he had graduated from the famous music school CMCN, Stéphan Forté composed his first instrumental demo Visions, which is considered to be the starting point of Adagio.
The demo alone got him endorsement deals with Rocktron (for Effects) and Godin (for guitars).
1998, he opened for Yngwie Malmsteen and got a new endorsement deal with Lag guitars.
He furthermore attracted the attention of producer Chris Tsangarides (Ozzy, Judas Priest,...).
In 1999 Olivier Garnier from CNR Music sent Forté to continue his work with Vitalij Kuprij.
This however didn't work out, and they closed that chapter after the demo was finished.
Back in France, he gathered Dirk Bruinenberg, Franck Hermanny, David Readman and Richard Andersson to record "Sanctus Ignis", the first Adagio album.
I consider this an ambitioned effort, but it lacks maturity; this album incorporates almost no progressive elements, it's rather Symphonic Power Metal (and they "borrowed" the famous "The Mirror" - Staccato I talked about in the Dream Theater post - listen to "The Mirror" by Dream Theater and then "Second Sight"...). Nevertheless, the album was well received in France and Japan.
Forté then met the young Kevin Codfert, who he eventually asked to join the band.
It is told that Forté then had some personal issues, affecting the songwriting to be more extreme.
The result of that is Adagio's masterpiece: "Underworld".
Their most difficult and complex album, which even features a real choir recorded in Lyon, is not just a step but a bike ride forward from the "Sanctus Ignis" album - Atmosphere, aggression, emotion, blazingly fast soloing, catchy songs and the mandatory extra long track (here "Underworld", 13:25 min) - this album is quite an offering to the Prog Metal fan - and, if unfamiliar with it, he/she shouldn't go to sleep without having at least listened in first.
The only small downside of the album is, in my opinion, the guitar sound. It just lacks a little edge.
Then, Dirk Bruinenberg decided to quit his duty behind the drums for while to stabilize his personal life. He was replaced by Eric Lebailly, who had a local reputation and was asked by the band to audition.
He then played drums at Adagio's first live gig (!) and the subsequent tour. The concerts in Paris and Strasbourg were recorded and released as "A Band In Upperworld" in 2004.
Adagio then faced a small crisis: David Readman left them shortly after the tour, in Summer 2004. However. they were scheduled for the ProgPower USA V festival that year, which is known as an opportunity for Power/Prog bands from Europe to perform in front of a bigger audience in the US. So they made an annoucement and received tapes from all over the world.
They decided on Gus Monsanto, for impressing them with his performance on "Chosen".
He arrived in France on the 29th of August and gave his live debut with Adagio at a non-profit concert against child abuse. A few days later, Adagio played to a sold out ProgPower festival.
They then started working on the third full length, "Dominate".
First, "Dominate" was only released in France and Japan in the end of 2005, but was released in Europe in Summer 2006.
"Dominate" shows a movement towards more "metal" territory; the guitar sounds more aggressive (that's a plus), but the progressive elements have been dropped widely (that's a minus). The orchestration is used much less and often doesn't continue during the band playing (something that occurred quite often on the "Underworld" album). Meanwhile, Gus Monsanto's voice ( which in my opinion sounds awesome and somewhat like Tim "Ripper" Owens, definitely more aggressive than David Readman's voice) upset some Readman fans.
On the whole, it's a great album, but it didn't scratch at "Underworld"'s throne.
Apparently, the band now already has another album entitled "Archangels In Black" ready to be released soon....
Adagio's Official Website
Adagio at Myspace(go here to listen to 4 songs)
Adagio Media Section
Videos at youtube.com:
Stéphan Forté shows all the guitar solos on "Underworld":
Bass sweeps by Franck Hermanny on "From My Sleep ...To Someone Else":
Here's the awesome bass solo from "The Mirror Stage"! If you know "Underworld", you most likely want to see this:
Promo video for "Dominate":
Promo video for "Fame":
Photo Slideshow from ProgPower V 2004:
Bands already featured:
(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)