The Shadow Mirror

Adamanter - The Shadow Mirror ©2003 Black Lotus Records
1. Minstrel Of Pain - I. Immemory
2. Minstrel Of Pain - Ii. Killing Ride
3. Minstrel Of Pain - Iii. The Shadow Mirror
4. Minstrel Of Pain - Iv. Theatre Of Madness
5. Minstrel Of Pain - V. Darkness To The End
6. Bloodstorm
7. A Leaf In The Whirl
8. Elisewin
9. Dancing Through The Clouds
10. Father
11. The Dark And The Ocean

I think Adamanter is vying to be the worst power metal band on the planet. I know, I know, there are hundreds of other bands in contention for this illicit "prize", but Adamanter has a leg up on them with their dreadful debut, The Shadow Mirror. Now before you Stratovarius and Freedom Call loving types out there fire up your email program to inform me that the Warriors of Metal are going to raid my castle, let me state for the record that I don't actually hate power metal. I simply hate all these awful bands that were signed far too early into their careers and every single band that does nothing but imitate their influences without adding a single iota of their own identities. Bands like that do nothing but water down metal as a whole and put out inferior products that cost too much money. Adamanter, to my surprise, is actually worse than some of the other bands out there, so my disgust at The Shadow Mirror is much stronger than other bands have gotten.

To put it simply, Adamanter is not ready to leave the demo phase of their existence. The Shadow Mirror is a poorly produced, amateurish effort that is very difficult to sit through. Mind you, it's more out of pity for the band members than anything else. I've heard raw, primitive black metal bands capture a better sound than this. The guitars sound like they were recorded on a Wiggles Toy Guitar (which reportly plays wacky notes and sounds) and then buried in the mix. The keyboards are all over the place, from sublime placement to bursting out when no one expects it. However, it's vocalist Mario Mosca who receives the brunt of my dislike for this album. His approach is perhaps a John Arch styled one, but frankly he doesn't have the ability to deliver. He never sounds like he's doing more than wailing away at the top of his lungs and while he can hit some high notes, they really aren't the notes that are appropriate for the songs. The production causes harmonies and double tracked vocal lines to literally cause my ears to ring and my whole body to convulse. Unfortunately, his vocals are much louder than everything else and are impossible to ignore. There is nothing good to say about his singing style whatsoever. Placed with the lackluster songs, uninteresting arrangements and horrible overall sound, The Shadow Mirrors becomes by far one of the worst things I've ever had the displeasure of reviewing.

I can't even picture non-discriminating power metal fans liking this.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2003

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