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Adagio is a French neo-classical progressive band hailing from Montpellier, France, formed in 2000. Stephan Forté, the band's guitarist, is considered the creative force behind Adagio. Adagio's music is characterized by technical precision, dark, dense orchestration, complex lead work, and a driving rhythm section. On the group's 2006 release Dominate, they added harsh vocals to their sound. The band's 4th album, Archangels in Black, was released on 02/02/09, and is the first album to feature their new vocalist, Christian Palin.
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ADAGIO Discography

ADAGIO albums / top albums

ADAGIO Sanctus Ignis album cover 3.74 | 15 ratings
Sanctus Ignis
Progressive Metal 2001
ADAGIO Underworld album cover 3.82 | 17 ratings
Progressive Metal 2003
ADAGIO Dominate album cover 3.73 | 13 ratings
Progressive Metal 2006
ADAGIO Archangels in Black album cover 3.16 | 14 ratings
Archangels in Black
Progressive Metal 2009
ADAGIO Life album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Progressive Metal 2017

ADAGIO EPs & splits

ADAGIO live albums

ADAGIO A Band in Upperworld: Live album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
A Band in Upperworld: Live
Progressive Metal 2004

ADAGIO demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ADAGIO re-issues & compilations

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ADAGIO movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

ADAGIO Reviews

ADAGIO Sanctus Ignis

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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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.

ADAGIO Dominate

Album · 2006 · Progressive Metal
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Time Signature
Fire forever...

Genre: symphonic/progressive power metal

Here's the story: while doing some shopping downtown with my better half, I decided to check out the metal section of one of the local record stored, like I've done so many times before, while she went to pick-up something in the Illum department store. I immediately went to the discount section in the metal department of the record store, knowing that that they have some ridiculously cheap things there. I found this release by Adagio in that section. Now, a band name like Adagio made me suspect that this would either be an extremely cheesy power metal release or a progressive metal release with instrument-wanking galore. I thought "what the hell, it's not like it's expensive" and bought the CD. I've done this numerous time before - bought a ridiculously cheap release by a band that was completely unknown to me - and I've burnt my fingers, but I've also had some really positive surprises.

So were my expectations met?

Yes and no. "Dominate" turns out to be a release that combines power metal and progressive/symphonic metal, but, fortunately, it's a best-of-both-worlds situation. There are some cheesy elements, to be sure, and a lot of instrument-wankery. However, this is neatly wrapped in heavy, thrashy, or groovy guitar riffs. The guitars actually have a very dark sound and feel to them which adds a sense of Nevermore-ish darkness to the music, which is probably another de-cheesing factor. Moreover, the vocalist(s) make use of mid to high registers, spiced up by death metal growling and black metal screaming which provides a welcome break from the volatile high register voices used by a lot of power metal bands. The symphonic aspect is primarily contributed by heavy use of keyboards - there are times when the keyboards become too dominant - but mostly they just serve to add a certain athmosphere and provide an extra element of melody. While I really like the use of avant-garde piano-patterns and Dream Theater-like keyboard solos, I find the use of the keyboard to emulate symphonic orchestras weak: it simply sounds too synthesized, and I would prefer if Adagio had actually hired a real symphonic orchestra to take care of symphonic arrangements.

The album contains a cover of the theme from "Fame", but, surprisingly, they actually manage to make a more-than-decent power metal song out of it, leaving the ghastly ballad "Kissing the Crow" as the weakest track on the CD.

I think this album will appeal to fans of power metal along the lines of Nevermore, Symphony X, Harrow and Rawhead Rexx, and I would also recommend it to fans of heavier progressive metal.

ADAGIO Sanctus Ignis

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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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.

ADAGIO Underworld

Album · 2003 · Progressive Metal
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Neoclassic brilliance,

It's not that the neo-classical side of metal is bloated or overpopulated. Its just that, like it or not, there is that "you've heard one, you've heard them all" tendency. Fortunately, Stephan Forte understands that just having lush orchestras and choirs doesn't make music good by itself - compositional skill is required. Thus Underworld is an album that offers up some really good, epic songs. The link to Sanctus Ignis is evident, while at the same time two songs feature blast beats and screams, without pounding you over the head with it.

Overall, Underworld is an intensely orchestral experience; I actually have the feeling of being in a concert hall watching a symphony performance accompanied by distorted guitars and drumset, as opposed to the usual formula of metal augmented by strings. The effect is subtle but it leaves its mark on you when you really listen. I can't get enough of the ballad "Promises," and the closing instrumental is fantastic from start to finish as well. There is no filler here. If your diet is neoclassical and metal, this is the main course.

ADAGIO Movies Reviews

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