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Review: Adagio - Archangels in Black
Archangels in Black

Label: Listenable Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 47:45
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 3, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
Archangels in Black

Rated 4.21/5 (84.29%) (14 Votes)

It's funny how it always goes: the more you expect from an album, the bigger the chance of you being let down. After the fantastic Dominate I was intrigued as to see what direction French prog metallers Adagio would take with album number four. The build up to the release of Archangels In Black was pretty exciting to say the least, featuring teaser trailers showing off awesome parts of the album, and then eventually monstrous opener "Vamphyri" was loaded onto the Internet by the band months before the release date, and that had me sold. After what seems like ages, it's finally time for Archangels… and upon first listen the wind was cruelly snatched out of my sails.

First and foremost Archangels… isn't a bad album. It's actually pretty good, just not as good as it should have been. From my initial listens of "Vamphyri," I thought they were going to roll with the extreme influences that had been creeping into their music since 2003's Underworld. I was expecting the album to sound a lot like "Children of the Dead Lake" from Dominate, albeit with a little more growls. A good description of Archangels… would be to imagine a cross between Underworld and Dominate, but instead of taking the absolutely mind blowing parts from each they just took the decent parts. Don't get me wrong here: there's a nice dosage of genius weaved throughout the rich tapestry of Archangels In Black. Stéphan Forté's guitar work is phenomenal as usual; especially the solo from "The Astral Pathway". The expectations were very high and it's a damn shame they couldn't fully realize them.

Overall this is a good album, and deserving of the 4/5 rating I awarded it. Hopefully the next time around they will hit us with a mind blower, but for now Archangels In Black is good and will no doubt be better than a lot of the Prog albums we will see throughout 2009. Adagio fans, approach this one with an open mind and keep your expectations reasonable, and for those new to the band I'd definitely recommend checking out this album first then digging backwards to enjoy the rest of their material. Certainly worth a look.

Standout Tracks: "Vamphyri", "The Astral Pathway", "Codex Oscura", and "Getsu Senshi".

Track Listing:
  1. Vamphyri
  2. The Astral Pathway
  3. Fear Circus
  4. Undead
  5. Archangels In Black
  6. The Fifth Ankh
  7. Codex Oscura
  8. Twilight At Dawn
  9. Getsu Senshi
Other related information on the site
Review: Dominate (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Underworld (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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