Adamanter - The Shadow Mirror
Black Lotus Records
Italian Power Metal
11 songs (41'32")
Release year: 2003
Adamanter, Black Lotus
Reviewed by Alex

Massimiliano Cammarota of Italian power metal band Adamanter says this in his booklet dedications:” … a great F*** OFF to all the bastards who have tried to kill this dream … we are stronger than ever!” I hate to be a bastard and I hate to put down a young band with their debut, but The Shadow Mirror is a Handbook of What’s Wrong with Italian, and a copycat in general, power metal.

Adamanter influences and rehashing the old ideas are painfully obvious. Riffs of Vision Divine and Labyrinth, singing of Skylark and piss poor production of many other Italian bands does not promise a good album. Adamanter follow this formula faithfully and fall horribly short of their “dream” – a worthy power metal album with some progressive leanings.

With songwriting that has been tried a million times before you need either extreme catchiness or superb musicianship. Adamanter excels at neither. Two songs by bassist Fabio Russo differ slightly from Cammarota’s style – the songs are slower, heavier and tend to be more complex – but as soon as the last note played from my speaker I couldn’t remember a thing. Besides, I really had no desire to hear the album again, except I needed to review it, so I went along with the process. What I discovered that musicianship is a mish-mesh of sounds and just about every bandmember is at fault.

By virtue of production (more on that later) we are forced to listen to Mario Mosca’s vocals as a focal point of Adamanter music. The guy has a good high register (very similar to Skylark), but his timing is awful, he sings all to himself while the rest of the music just plays along. Rhythm section is poor – bass is not heard, and drums resemble a constant undecipherable flow with little punctuation. Then, why would you mix them high? To hear how drummer Massimiliano Mosca (vocalist’s brother?) trips over himself at times?

Guitarists may have skill, but they are hidden deep into the background, so the riffs sound like a tinny tiny washing machine. Whenever the solo is needed Adamanter calls on Umberto Micillo and his Roland/Korg/Hammond and he largely delivers, but the whole effort is still much below par.

With your two weakest points being vocals and drums who is the production genius to make them the highest point in the mix? What could have been salvageable becomes not tolerable. Some sounds at the beginning of A Leaf in the Whirl hit the high frequencies destructible for my audio system and painful for my ears.

I am not really sure what can be recommended to Adamanter in order for them to improve. How about scrap the whole idea and start anew?

Killing Songs :
Killing Ride, Theater of Madness
Alex quoted 40 / 100
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