Adagio - Dominate review


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Band: Adagio
Album: Dominate
Release date: November 2005

01. Fire Forever
02. Arcanas Tenebrae/Dominate
03. Terror Jungle
04. Children of the Dead Lake
05. R'Lyeh the Dead
06. The Darkitecht
07. Kissing the Crow
08. Fame [Irene Cara cover]
09. Undying [Japanese Bonus Track]

After that Stephan Forte fired David Redman, the first singer of the French combo Adagio, everybody, me the first, was wondering if it was possible to find a good replacement. Stephan found a young singer from Brazil, Gus Monsanto and if you still didn't know how good he could be, I will invite you to have a look quickly on "Dominate" the new album of the band to understand that we're just in front of a real masterpiece. Adagio is back, and not for nothing…

Adagio still plays the same kind of music. Don't worry they're still doing this really powerful mix of Progressive Power a la Symphony X. The guitars of Stephan Forte are as always super heavy with its really big heavy sound and evidently he is as always an excellent guitarist who knows how to do outstanding soli. Though "Dominate" has also some touches of Neo Classical music even if this time, I really think that the album is a lot more punchy and effective than the "Underworld".

The songs are just catchy as hell, the compositions are intelligent and varied with even some oriental touches, with a lot of keyboards and with a bunch of great ambiances. A song like "Fire Forever" with its powerful melodic riff was probably designed for the Japanese market when "Children Of The Dead Lake" (does it have a link with a famous trendy European band????) with its numerous parts of Keyboard clearly sound European without forgeting some Thrashy riffs a la Megadeth.... Also a song like "R'lyeh The Dead" has a typical American Power (and extremely heavy) sound. As you can see "Dominate" isn't linear, Stephan and his band mates just knew how to write an excellent album.

But let's talk about the vocals now. Evidently I'm sure that you're all wondering if Gus is able to replace perfectly David Redman. No need to put anymore suspense, yes, Gus is great and his voice fits perfectly with the music of the new album. If you add that Stephan even chose to sing with an excellent Death voice on a lot of songs ("Terror Jungle"), believe me that if you were already a fan of the first Adagio's albums, you'll just love the new one that is in my opinion their best.

The production is great, the songs are all well-written and are super catchy so "Dominate" is just a great success for me. On each new albums, Adagio is able to surprise us and to do something new, this is the case one more time and I'm sure that you'll love this new album. Though, the new musicians are all extremely good so it's easy to come to a conclusion that says that "Dominate" is a real masterpiece. I'm addicted, and you'll become a fan to I'm sure of it…

Written by Jeff | 06.04.2006


Guest review by
Adagio are back with Dominate, an album that fans of their earlier albums will certainly enjoy. The band hasn't changed their blueprint at all; nine tracks all focusing on straight-ahead power metal riffing chord structures, symmetrical meters and guitar histrionics performed by none other then Stéphan Forté. The only difference on this album is the incorporation of more death metal vocals, especially on the title track where symphonic overtones are mixed in with grindcore blast beats and guttural rasping vocals. This trend continues on "Terror Jungle" at the two minute mark, turning into a song that doesn't even sound like Adagio for twenty seconds. "Terror Jungle" would be one of Dominate's more diverse tracks; it's a song that is clearly all over the place. It mixes signature Adagio orchestration with Malmsteen-influenced notation, an 80s power metal influence, and a brief pounding double-bass moment of death metal growling. "R'Lyeh the Dead" is another track on Dominate that features death metal growling, however fusing this with clean vocals. "Kissing the Crow" is the album's ballad track as well as Forté's lowest point for vocals on Dominate, seemingly trying too hard to articulate the odd lyric (although this might be denounced simply to his French accent). "Kissing the Crow" is a rather short song which mixes piano with a string accompaniment. The cover of "Fame" from Alan Parker's 1980 film Fame seems to come out of nowhere. Adagio take this once soft rock adult contemporary song and turn it into a pulsing power metal tune and adds in off-time drumming patterns in the outro. All in all Dominate is a solid album by the band, waiting to be outdone by a future epic release..
published 01.06.2006 | Comments (0)

Guest review by
#~|CoP Return|~#
After some changes in the band - Gus Mosanto replacing David Readman at the vocals - The Frenchmen are back with their new album entitled "Dominate."

Many people wonder if sacking David Readman was for the better (I was truly a great fan of his), I can assure you it IS! Adagio are giving us an awesome "new" sound at the vocals with this Brazilian fitting extremly well with the compisition of Stephaned Forté, taking us further into the heaviness of their sound! This new album is really continuing the Adagio tradition; a great power/prog style inspired greatly by Symphony X with great and heavy riffs as we are acustomed to hearing by the french guitar player and genius Forté.

published 13.06.2006 | Comments (0)


Comments: 2   Visited by: 32 users
06.11.2009 - 09:28
Underpaid M.D.
I like this album because each song is different, it keeps me interested in listening the album from the beginning to the end, and Gus Monsanto's voice is really catchy. Nice album overall. I would recommend this to everyone, give it a try.
"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"
23.02.2011 - 23:27
There was a change of style in Adagio since Dominate. A darker style, less neoclassical and more in your face, with the introduction of growl vocals in some parts aswell. Off course Adagio remains with the same identity, altough some changes have been made, but this is a consistent album with excellent compositions and an unlikely cover of the theme song of "Fame".
Although not the best album of Adagio by any chance, still i consider it to be a spectacular effort by the band and one to listen for many times. |m|

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