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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROBERT FOX: Adonai (2008)

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

For those who love the cinematographic side of Vangelis, Adonai should fulfill your waits and needs

1 Pieta Part One 4:18

2 Palm Sunday 2:53

3 The Temple 4:15

4 Mary's Blessing 2:09

5 Gethsemane 2:34

6 Anointing 2:36

7 9 Mimes 12:21

8 Transfiguration 4:49

9 Betrayal 0:57

10 Magdalene 3:48

11 To Break and Share the Bread 1:54

12 Last Supper 5:32

13 Peter's Deniel 0:41

14 Way of the Cross 3:12

15 Crucifixion 4:45

16 Pieta Part Two 3:22

17 Resurrection 2:22

(CD/DDL 62:27) (V.F.)

(Progressive New Age, Tribal Ambient)

To appreciate ADONAI at its true value, it must be placed in its context. Written for a play, with the theme of the story of Easter and the last moments of Christ as backdrop, Robert Fox deploys his immense talent as a composer, sound designer and orchestral arranger to create an epic music that oscillates between the contemporary and electronics on impressive tribal grounds. A biblical story known to all, on music mostly unknown by too much of everyone.

A violent thunderclap opens Pieta Part One, kicking off a long uninterrupted track of 62 minutes, divided into 17 segments. A choir pierces this climatic outburst to undulate in a silent darkness. A discreet synth melts behind these traditional chants, creating a monasterial vibe on a rhythm progressing languidly on felted percussions. This kind of techno on a background of romance is lost in the vapors of a misty choir as Palm Sunday pursues this Hebrew quest with rolling percussions and guitars dependent on populous neighborhoods, where acrobats of all stripes feast in a crowd in perdition. The musical theme evolves in accordance with the target era on discreet synths which serve as a sound canvas for more traditional instrumentation produced by a variety of synthesizer software. The Temple takes the musical paths of a neighborhood party with nice flutes, accompanied by more libertine guitars and vocals that continue in the short incantation of Mary's Blessing and its orchestral arrangements on tempered percussions. Floating moment, Gethsemane is a prelude to Anointing and its abbey approach on a soft guitar. 9 Mimes is a wrap-up genre that revisits the first part of ADONAI in a very diverse musical universe.

Very ethereal and celestial, Transfiguration changes mid-course to a more suggestive tempo surrounded by a beautiful guitar with limpid chords. Magdalene is a poetic ballad where the voices and the guitars, supported by a synth which offers a nice orchestral structure, are of a flawless tribal realism. The more we advance in ADONAI and the more we go in its dramatic moments. To Break And Share The Bread is animated by fine tabla percussions and the ringing of bells which are coated with a narrated text, initiating the very lugubrious The Last Supper; a dark title which floats in an austere cloistered ambience. Very musical and poetic, Way of the Cross and Crucifixion are animated by a good playing of guitar and processional percussions which roll on the harmonies of a synth with enveloping layers. After a more tempered Pieta Part Two, Resurrection closes ADONAI with nice synth lines which rock the notes of a piano. Notes that mingle with the lamentations of pilgrims in a sunny musical ambience aiming the visual grandeur of Robert Fox.

ADONAI is a very charismatic work. Strongly inspired by the melodious and orchestral structures of Vangelis, Robert Fox works thoroughly on his movements, bringing a harmonious evolution that balances between the melancholy of a biblical era and the more technoïd movements of a contemporary era. Structures constantly slowed down by a dramatic theme which is deeply investigated by an author whose perception of eras transcends writings. It is a very melodious dark album which catalogs itself in an orchestral Vangelis and which is tamed in small doses.

Sylvain Lupari (April 17th, 2009) ***½**

Available at AD Music

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