AMADEUS AWAD’s EON – The Book Of Gates [Special Edition]
Guitar virtuoso Amadeus Awad is presenting his phenomenal Progressive Rock / Metal project AMADEUS AWAD’S EON featuring a notable cast including vocalists Russell Allen (Symphony X, Allen/Lande) & Amanda Somerville (Avanatasia, Kiske/Somerville), keyboard wizard Kevin Moore (OSI, Dream Theater, Chroma Key), John Macaluso (Yngwie, James LaBrie, TNT) on drums and other lesser known musicians but not less talented.
Amadeus Awad’s Eon debut is entitled “The Book Of Gates“, and this Special Edition features 3 bonus tracks.
“The Book of Gates” is an extraordinary achievement from an extraordinary group of musicians.
It’s a concept opus with a few characters and a strong Egyptian thematic backbone in the story line, crafted in the Ayreon or Avantasia tradition. It’s really well constructed story, but what shines here is the music.
It is truly hard to compare anything to the mind-blowing greatness of Arjen Anthony Luccassen, even if you consider the ones considered ‘great’ in the world of progressive metal. Well, Amadeus Awad’s Eon it’s pretty close to Arjen’s perfection, all wonderfully polished and soundwise crisp, akin Luccassen’s project Ayreon.
However, Awad adds to the proggressive arrangements a touch of Middle Eastern and Oriental styles resulting in a terrific combination that never grows dull to these ears. There is something about the Eastern music that is pure magic when on a collision course with our dearest form of music.
If you aren’t fully engaged by Amadeus Awad’s dancing fretboard, or with the brilliant songwriting team of Awad and vocalist Elia Monsef, then perhaps guest appearances from Russell Allen & Co. will entice your interest.
With a lyrical concept steeped in ancient Egypt, Allen plays the part of the dying Pharaoh with Somerville the evil Queen who deceives and leaves him dead. Unlike recent albums from a certain Finnish guitarist (who will remain nameless), Awad can have an album properly produced and mixed which brings out the true talents of the guest. The performances on “The Book of Gates” are brilliant, showing there is more than just a ‘paid willingness’ to participate, and instead there is true passion on this release.
“Visions” – the acoustic treasure of the release – leads off with an introduction. Elia Monsef (singer of progsters Ostura) delivers an outstanding performance, smooth with just a tiny bit of grit. Already you can hear the undertones of where this story of deception will lead.
The orchestration is alluring and the song bleeds right into “The Crown’s Fate” where we hear the first of the giant heavy riffs from Awad. Somerville’s performance here is one of her best I’ve heard on any album, soft and strong at the same time. Then Allen kicks in with his usual bravado proving over and over again why he can guest on every album and it would never be too much. The song rides a wave of melody with absurdly gorgeous solos and the heaviness kicks in right when you need it.
Title track “The Book of Gates” is another jewel; riffs riding on riffs into an absolute masterpiece of progressive metal. The main melody rivals that in Ayreon’s instant classic ‘The Theory of Everything’. The duet of Monsef (“The Necromancer”) and Allen (“The Pharaoh”) is nearly interchangeable, just before Awad lays down a near minute long solo that draws tears out like a Nile flood. There’s a fantastic keyboard work by Kevin Moore, and I can’t forget to say that Macaluso’s drumming all over the record is terrific.
The story ends with “Incarnation”, the Pharaoh’s revenge, and with it the heaviest and best riff sequence on the release.
The bonuses are part of a previous EP (for the first time worldwide released) featuring not less compelling songs written by Awad / Monsef, also perfectly recorded, mixed & mastered.
Taking inspiration from prog master Arjen Anthony Luccassen, Amadeus Awad has created a little diamond here, infused with tons of creativity and talent.
Pockets of pure power lay hidden like a minefield within an orchestrated masterpiece that is chock full of extraordinary guest performances, only to be topped off by inspiring and eloquent guitar solos.
Passing over EON’s “The Book of Gates” would simply be a ‘de-Nile’ of true professional and engaging progressive metal.
02. The Crown’s Fate
03. The Book Of Gates
05. Poetry Of Time (Bonus Track)
06. Noir (Bonus Track)
07. Song For A Loner (Bonus Track)
Amadeus Awad – All guitars, programming
Elia Monsef – Vocals as the “Necromancer”
Russell Allen – Vocals as the “Pharaoh”
Amanda Somerville – Vocals as the “Queen”
Kevin Moore – Keyboards on track 2, 3 and 4
Elyes Bouchoucha (Myrath) – Keyboards on 1
Danny Bou Maroun (Ostura) – Keyboards, Orchestration on 1
Dan Veall – Bass
John Macaluso – Drums
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