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3.71 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2001

Filed under Progressive Metal


1. Second Sight (6:07)
2. The Inner Road (5:46)
3. In Nomine... (5:05)
4. The Stringless Violin (7:01)
5. Seven Lands of Sin (11:42)
6. Order of Enlil (4:21)
7. Sanctus Ignus (4:09)
8. Panem et Circences (5:22)
9. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover) (4:57)
10. Niflheim (demo) (4:05)

Total Time: 58:39


- Dirk Bruinenberg / Drums
- Richard Andersson / Keyboards
- Franck Hermanny / Bass
- Stéphan Forté / Guitars
- David Readman / Vocals

About this release

Released by Limb Music GmbH, May 8th, 2001.

The Japanese edition has two bonus tracks:
1. Nozama (Instrumental demo)
2. The Stringless Violin (Instrumental demo)

Rereleased by XIII Bis Records in 2010 with the song Nazama (Instrumental demo) as a bonus track.

Thanks to Lynx33, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
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.
When I learned of some of the musicians participating in Adagio, I knew I had to do all I could to check this one out. Spearheaded by 24 year-old French guitar prodigy Stephan Forte, Adagio crank out some of the most intense, vigorous, and masterful symphonic Prog Metal this side of Symphony X.

Sanctus Ignis is a record that demands to be heard by fans of Prog and Melodic Metal alike. To realize his dream, Forte assembled some incredible musicians. Drummer Dirk Bruinenburg (Elegy), keysman Richard Andersson (Majestic), and bassist Franck Hermanny all step up and give performances dripping with passion and precision. The crowning jewel in Adagio’s already blinding crown is vocalist David Readman (Pink Cream 69). This guy’s voice is simply astounding. His golden throat completes this mammoth line-up of talent and truly brings the music of Adagio to fire-breathing life! No pointless screaming, no overbearing vibrato shenanigans, just pure, heartfelt, powerful melody delivered to sheer sonic perfection. Forte’s guitar work here is all at once beautiful and stunning. Driving rhythms, attention grabbing solos, powerful melodies and a strong tonal presence all flow from this man’s fingers in effortless fashion. Andersson’s keys are equally impressive, giving even the master Jens Johansson a serious run for his money with melancholic piano passages, engulfing synth textures and commanding solos. Bruinenburg and Hermanny both juggle the driving metal rhythms and intricate time and tempo changes to flawless results.

Picking individual highlights is a nearly impossible task. Opening cut ‘Second Sight’, the dramatic intensity of the title track, the Baroque melodies of ‘In Nomine”, and the 12-minute epic ‘Seven Lands Of Sin’ all feature tight musicianship, fearless melodies, and awe-inspiring solos. An added bonus is the instrumental adaptation of Led Zeppelin’s ‘The Immigrant Song’, both for it’s flawless execution and being an unusual choice for a cover. I simply cannot rave about this record enough. Adagio just doesn’t boast a collection of name players then deliver a half-baked product.

Sanctus Ignis is most definitely hitting on all melodic, progressive and dramatic cylinders, and is a strong contender for “Album of the Year’ honors. Prog Metal fans need this record.
The young-and-talented French axeman, Stephan Forté, teamed up with Pink Cream 69's singer, David Readman and Majestic's keyboardist, Richard Anderson, and released an idealistic neoclassical power with progressive and symphonic touch debut, "Sanctus Ignis", in 2001. Produced by Dennis Ward which was also known as the bassist of PC69 and also involved in many Frontiers' AOR project, this record has an admirable sound, helped us a lot to appreciate every details of Forté's ideas implementation.

When I first listen to this disc, the opening track, "Second Sight" didn't impress me much. It's a good track, heavy metal based with classical passage and dark atmosphere, but I thought I've heard this style before and thought everything will sounded just the same to the end, but I was wrong. "The Inner Road" started building my mood with a complex prog-metal structure but "In Nomine.." that sucked me deep into their music. Started with a symphonic intro, the tempo is climbing up and you can hear Malmsteen's influence everywhere. "The Stringless Violin" is even better and this is the best composition I found within the album. The enigmatic spine-chilling organ intro, the prog/power explosion, the beautiful melodic insertion, the enchanting piano solo, everything's perfect in its own place.

The longest 11-minutes epic, "Seven Lands of Sin" perhaps could be stated as the center pillar of the album, blending every aspects into one bowl of song, but to me, it's not as outstanding as "Violin". "Panem Et Circenses" is a prog/power grower and Zeppelin's instrumental rendition of "Immigrant Song" is interesting, but the powerful pulse-pounding "Order of Enlil" is another sparkling jewel here. The title track is also showcasing Readman's insane sky-climbing wails and contained a big melodic proportion with a strong neoclassical composition.

"Sanctus Ignis" defines a captivating multi-national debut with exceptional musicians and highly recommended for fans of progressive metal, Yngwie Malmsteen, and power metal.

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