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Adamantra - Act II: Silent Narratives Award winner

Adamantra
Act II: Silent Narratives
by Daniel Fox at 28 April 2014, 6:08 PM

My mantra; that you can never go wrong with Prog from the "lands of ice and snow", has yet to be proven wrong. Finnish band ADAMANTRA are soon to release their second album; allow me to begin by asking you, rhetorically, what you want in a melodic, Progressive Metal band. Whatever it is, you are to find it in "Act II: Silent Narratives". You may name an influential Power/Prog band, and you may find their influences creeping in.

"Lionheart" is an interesting choice to begin an album, since it runs at just over 18 minutes long. It had to happen at some point. In classic Prog fashion, one may divide it into audibly discernible movements. The first of which trudges at a medium canter, a basic drum and bass track, overlaid with, needless to say, a surprising vocal delivery. At first, I thought I was listening to Roy Khan. Tuomas Nieminen is simply that great of a singer, conveying KAMELOT-like nuances whether he meant to or not, yet definitely made it his own. As the song progressed (pun absolutely intended), the riffs became heavier, faster and more complex, blended with wonderful keyboard work and atmospherics. The vocals subtly soar between different melodic styles; I hear a little Michael Eriksen and James Labrie in places. Eventually, we're brought to a crushing Power Metal section, roots that the band are proud of, and it shows in the way that the instruments and vocals scream with vigor. An album within an album, essentially.

"In the Shadow of the Cross" was one of my favorites; as hard as that may be to choose. Multilayered, heavy riffs are masked by beautiful piano work, and vocals that transform in and out of soaring wails, catchy hooks and aggressive rasps. The bass playing reminds me much of the esteemed Andreas Blomqvist; Jukka is a master, as we will hear more of later on. Singlehandedly, the track creates its own atmosphere of foreboding melancholy, and without you realizing it, turns it around and absorbs you into the story, and fills you with emotion. "Wicked Chain of Events" begins as a technically complex and mature Prog track, embellished with creative vocals and licks, Tuomas pushing his vocal limits (does the man have any?). We're soon treated by a terrific guitar/keyboard interplay that only northern Progressive masters could create.

Listening to this album was an absolute pleasure; few other albums I know of sound different with each listen, and are an accompaniment to every mood, every activity. I hope this album will go down with the fan base as a Progressive masterpiece.

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Lionheart
2. Three
3. In The Shadow of the Cross
4. The Oracle
5. Angel of Music
6. Red Death
7. Wicked Chain of Events
8. Circle of Sorrow
9. On Ember Remains
Lineup:
Tuomas Nieminen – Vocals
Panu Kiskola – Guitars
Jukka Hoffrén – Bass
Mikko Sepponen – Drums
Christian Pulkkinen – Keyboards
Record Label: Power Prog
     


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Edited 24 May 2019
 

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