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Neo-classical metal wizardry! - 95%

Mithr4ndir, June 27th, 2008

This, the first effort from French musicians Adagio, is remarkably good, if a bit inferior to Underworld. Before I go on to the actual review, I feel myself obligated to once again address the foolish comparisons to Symphony X. Yes, Adagio takes influence from Symphony X, as many bands do, but calling them a mindless imitator? Not even close.

The guitar work from Stephan Forte in this album is superb. Ranging from slow, melodic, and emotional to fast, note-filled, and technical, Forte offers something to everybody with this release, and does it well. Forte maintains his spectacular guitar tone throughout the entire album. It's really quite fantastic.

They keyboards, as per usual with Adagio, are absolutely top-notch. While it is my belief that Mr. Andersson (Haha yes. Squeezed in a Matrix reference) is slightly worse than Kevin Codfert, he is still a superb keyboardist. His harmonies he forms with Stephan, or his solos are just incredible.

Now, the high point of this album lies in the vocals of David Readman who is the greatest clean vocalist walking the planet today. He has the greatest voice of anybody I have ever heard. As on their next album, David turns what would have merely been great songs into masterpieces with his emotion, energy, and skill. He is the high point of the album.

The drumming and bass work on this album are one of the few things that keep this album from getting a 100. Now I might not be as big on bass as some other metal-heads, but I at least like to hear it in every song, and that's not always the case. Dirk Bruinenberg's drums are, simply put, meh. The other thing that keeps this from being perfect is the cover of Led Zeppelin's the Immigrant Song. It's fun and all, but completely unneeded and silly.

The highlights of this album are in this order:

In Nomine...
Order of Enlil
Seven Lands of Sin
Stringless Violin
Inner Road