Ada­gio

LIFE

Metal Hammer (UK) - - The Gospel - DAVE LING

| ZETA NEME­SIS |

Gal­lic prog met­allers find their miss­ing link In a pe­riph­eral sense, much has changed in Ada­gio’s world in the seven years since their last al­bum, Ar­changels In Black. That record – the fifth from the French pro­gres­sive/neo-clas­si­cal out­fit – fea­tured the vo­cals of Chris­tian Palin, prov­ing to be his sole out­ing with them. Life is built around the com­mand­ing pres­ence of Kelly ‘Sun­down’ Car­pen­ter, an Amer­i­can who once sang with them in Ja­pan and had a tour­ing spell with Firewind. Fun­da­men­tally, though, their path re­mains fo­cused. The al­bum is dom­i­nated by sweep­ing or­ches­tral ar­range­ments, be­decked in the stac­cato riffs of founder, gui­tarist and guid­ing light Stéphan Forté. Two fur­ther new faces, drum­mer Jelly Car­darelli and vi­o­lin­ist May­line Gau­tié, add to the ex­cep­tional lev­els of mu­si­cian­ship. Life’s loose con­cept is an ex­plo­ration of fear, joy, sor­row, love, pain and ec­stasy and Ada­gio revel in its weight­i­ness, the ti­tle track clock­ing in at more than nine min­utes long. Car­pen­ter is a won­der­ful dis­cov­ery and un­less he should use them as a step­ping stone, Ada­gio seem poised for a ca­reer up­turn.

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