Adagio

Archangels In Black

Archangels In Black


Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 23/03/2009

More than your typical power metal release

French label Listenable Records are bringing the world some outstanding acts - Hacride and Gojira come to mind immediately. Now, it might be time to add another to that list in the form of native act Adagio. They might not be a new name to the metal world with three unique sounding albums under their belt to date, but with a new vocalist in tow (Random Eyes/Essence Of Sorrow vocalist Christian Palin has replaced Gustavo 'Gus' Monsanto) alongside guitarist/vocalist Stéphan Forté, bassist Franck Hermanny, keyboardist Kevin Codfert and drummer Eric Lebailly, Adagio have delivered their heaviest album so far with their latest effort, Archangels In Black.

You could easily dismiss Adagio's latest effort with the opening strains of Vamphyri seemingly more death metal oriented. But soon enough, it seamlessly morphs into one of the most dynamic power metal numbers I've heard in a long time - layered keyboards, outstanding guitar work, and stunning vocals are the order of the day from here on in. The epic nature of The Astral Pathway is enthralling as it offers a progressive twist on the traditional power metal style and a lot of that is to do with Forte's outstanding fret work and Codfert's striking keyboard work. Fear Circus and Undead continue with Forte leading the way alongside Palin's powerful vocals, as the latter of the two showcases some more aggressive vocals along the way.

Adagio push the envelope further with the epic title track Archangels In Black. Lead by an almost Cradle Of Filth like orchestral intro, it takes off with a fury of blast beats and blistering lead runs before Palin delivers yet another stunning vocal performance. The rhythmic intro to The Fifth Ankh settles into a slower, darker number where Codfert's keyboards play a major role throughout whilst the lengthy Codex Obscura is more in line with your typical power metal for the most part. There are still a few surprises along the way which holds true for Twilight At Dawn and the blistering finale, Getsu Senshi, as well.

Finally, Adagio deliver the album that should push them further towards the pointy end of the power metal field. Sure, purists may shudder at some of the other influences apparent on Archangels In Black but Adagio aren't afraid to show that they are prepared to break the mould, and when they do so like this, you can't really fault it now, can you? No, I think not.

(Listenable Records/Stomp Entertainment)

More from Adagio

Archangels In Black

Reviewed By Simon Milburn
Published 23/03/2009