Released: 2001, Limb Music Products / SPV
Talk about a mature debut CD! Holy smokes, feed ‘em in feet first, this is no joke...this is great stuff! Adagio is the creation of one Stephan Forté, a young and very gifted guitarist from France. Rounding out the guest line-up assembled for this album is vocalist David Readman (Pink Cream 69), drummer Dirk Bruinenberg (Elegy) and Richard Anderson (Majestic) for some of the keyboards.
The music on SANCTUS IGNIS combines elements found in bands (and guitarists) like Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Stratovarius and Symphony X with classical music. The lead playing has many nods to Yngwie without sounding like a blatant rip off of the master. The word “Adagio” defined means “A slow, sustained movement.” Well that’s not a true definition of the music on here to me. It’s more like part Baroque mixed with allegro and of course it easily falls under the melodic metal spectrum even if it is a tad more progressive them most melodic metal bands. I find it hard to single out just a few songs here because they all have something to offer. As with most albums, the opening track (“Second Sight”) grabs you right away! As well, the 11min+ song “Seven Lands of Sin” provides plenty of diversity without ever dragging. There are several segments of songs with extended solos on both guitar and keyboard. I don’t consider this kind of virtuoso playing “showboating”, not when the song it’s in has substance and is not merely a poorly constructed vessel for someone to wank within. That said, Adagio’s songs are well constructed and never bore. If you like simple verse/chorus structured songs, look elsewhere. If you have to have vocals over an entire song except for the short solo somewhere in the middle of the song, look elsewhere. However if you appreciate technical guitar playing and progressive melodic metal check this out.
Be sure to drop by Adagio’s webpage at http://www.adagio.fr.st/
and guitarist Stephan Forté’s own site can be found at http://www.stephanforte.fr.st/