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Review: Adagio - Dominate

Label: Double Vision
Year released: 2006
Duration: 47:15
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: February 10, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating

Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (10 Votes)

Reviewing stuff like this is tough, since there isn't a whole lot to really say about it. Adagio are a French Progressive/Power Metal band and this is their third album, and while it is listenable, it is not especially good or remarkable in any sense of the word. Adagio really, and I do mean REALLY, like Symphony X, to the point of emulating them in a fashion similar to an immature younger sibling, and it shows here. Most of these songs would fit like missing puzzle pieces on The Divine Wings of Tragedy or The Odyssey, featuring Symphony X's trademark neoclassical wizardry, the riff and songwriting style, and a vocal performance that could be likened to a weaker Russel Allen - Gustavo Monsanto is not untalented, but he isn't particularly stirring or unique in his workmanlike delivery either. Let me just underline the fact that a lot of the songs here really do sound as if they were ripped from Symphony X recording sessions; it is THAT bad. Copying isn't always a sin, but at least do it with some spark of passion or aggression or anything that at least makes the music enjoyable! This band seems to be too afraid to step outside of their box and do anything besides leaf through Symphony X's books, which is a shame - the talent is obviously there.

At times this isn't even really Prog, borrowing far too much from their more fellated peers to "progress" at all, but in the end, Dominate is not that bad of an album. It's simply unremarkable, with even good songs like the haunting stomp of the title track and the sprawling "R'Lyeh the Dead" coming off as lacking in comparison to any of Symphony X or Angra's better songs, and without most of the great hooks that those bands use, too. Symphony X and Angra are great bands because they have the ability to write catchy songs while still breaking down walls of complexity at the same time, and Adagio simply don't write very good hooks, instrumentally proficient as they are. Dominate is, in the end, a disc of mediocre quality that won't stick with you after it's done. Get it if you must, but it's really nothing more than cookie cutter Prog/Power Metal.

Track Listing:
  1. Fire Forever
  2. Arcanis Tenebrae / Dominate
  3. Terror Jungle
  4. Children of the Dead Lake
  5. R'Lyeh the Dead
  6. The Darkitecht
  7. Kissing the Crow
  8. Fame
  9. Undying (Japanese bonus)
Other related information on the site
Review: Archangels in Black (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Underworld (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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