Adrana has released their third album “Foreshadow” and finally I was able to grab a physical copy as iTunes USA has not this album listed (only their previous album is listed).
If you don’t know Adrana, it is a French Symphonic Metal band from Tours. I was fairly impressed with their previous album “The Ancient Realms” by the aggressive tunes and foremost by the quality voice of Anae, a professional mezzo-soprano opera singer. First time I listened to Adrana with “the Frozen Path”, I was in love. Anae has a remarkable talent to bring emotions through her voice. Will this new release impress me as their previous release? I just imported the album into my iTunes to be able to run the test and give you my opinion.
It starts with “A Cursed Legacy”, a nice introduction that have this classical tunes already present in the “Ancient Realms”, almost sounding like a soundtrack and you don’t realize you already slide into the next track “Bad Blood” welcomed by male growls and by Anae crystalline voice (I am sure she should break cristal glasses with her frequency range). It is really minimal in the orchestration but this what I like about. Anae experienced trying to play in vocal frequency ranges, lower frequencies that honestly sounded odd to me but once she ramp up, OMG you don’t want to be in a glass ceiling room with powerful speakers!
The next track “Eleventh Hour” is a nice one, except I was confused for the Jazz intermezzo that would have been maybe more appropriate in a separate track. I like continuity and except this interlude, this track is a damn great one. We get back to some Terra Cognita with “Time to Win, Time to Cry” that set the tone of this album. We will have some great “Beauty and the Beast” duet antagonism. Adrana at its best, aggressive and fast paced bass, elysian vocals blended with a nice selection of classical violins. The rest of the album is just great. Special mention “The Failing Song” a piano solo with Anae. A monotonous but a damn great performance from Anae, heavily melancholic but certainly the track that should raise the band high. Funny how when in my teenage years I despised classical and opera music and now I am completely in love with it.
“Foreshadow” sets the tone, a dark tone. It is darker than their previous releases. It is also a nice evolution. The band has gained maturity and we can hear it, it is damn good. Anae is just amazing in this album and easily plays in par with Dianne von Giesbergen. If you like Dianne, you should give a try to Anae. One of the finest metal opera voice of the French metal scene.
My only caveat on the album? The experimentation of Anae with her voice outside her classical registry. In real life, as a scientist, when I try a new method, I try in a small scale and see the feedback. The band decided to try it on the full album and that breaks with the continuity. A better option would have been trying an EP, it has lower impact than a full album. The same thing happens with Dianne on Xandria “Fire and Ashes EP” with her cover of “Don’t Say A Word” from Sonata Artica and “I’d Would Anything for Love” from Meat Loaf (see my dedicated post on it).
Aside of this caveat, this is definitely the album of the month for September (it was released in September but took a couple of weeks to come from France into the middle of the Texas Panhandle). If you have not try Adrana before, then you are missing big. With Whyzdom, this is my second favorite French Symphonic Metal album (eyeing also on Midnight Sorrow. Maureen also shown some very good potential).