Adagio – LIFE Review

LIFE is the fifth album from French symphonic progressive metallers Adagio, although it serves as my first insight into the band. It’s a pretty stellar effort, but there is some room for improvement.

When I hit play and the glorious introduction for opener LIFE filled the room, my immediate thoughts were “YES, THIS IS THE GOOD SHIT RIGHT HERE” and strapped myself in for what I anticipated was going to be a mighty listen. In a sense I wasn’t wrong, but there is a slight problem. The vocals. They’re somewhat overwhelming and don’t quite seem to match the rest of the music. There’s a lot of power and body behind them, and it’s a solid performance, but they’re too in-your-face – the balance isn’t quite right, and perhaps if the levels were reduced a little you’d be able to appreciate the instrumentation that accompanies the vocals a little more.

Nevertheless, LIFE is still a good listen. All the little intricacies, particularly in the symphonic sections, are phenomenal and it’s one of those albums that definitely needs to have a few listens for you to fully appreciate and pick up on every detail. Middle track Darkness Machine is a particular highlight; it draws you in and gets under your skin with some seriously catchy melodies and a good heavy wall of sound to accompany them.

An all-round good album, but admittedly it is let down by the vocal approach – perhaps a more stripped-back or less ‘shouty’ technique would have lent itself better to the music.


About Natalie Humphries 1842 Articles

Soundscape’s editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: or @acidnat on twitter.

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