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AMADEUS AWAD

Crossover Prog • Lebanon


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Amadeus Awad biography
Amadeus Awad (real name Ahmad Awad) is a multi-instrumentalist from Lebanon. Inspired as a child by Richie Blackmore, he started his own hard rock band (Thorn Birds) at the age of 14, covering Deep Purple, Dio and Rainbow. A few years later, he would move to Beirut, aiming to become a professional musician - starting with the launch of his solo career in 2010.

In 2011, he released his first solo work, the EP Ghost Stories, followed in 2012 by Time of the Equinox, a full album. In 2013 another EP, Schizanimus followed. These three got him some initial fame in the (progressive metal) community. Where on the first EP he played all instruments himself, he later sought cooperation with musicians from all over the world. This included people like Gavin Harrison, Mark Boals and Timo Somers, but also vocalist Elia Monsef, who has been involved in all Amadeus' releases so far.

In 2015, he released Death Is Just a Feeling, a very personal and far less metal oriented concept album, about his personal experiences with death. A rock opera in the vein of Ayreon, but in Amadeus' own style.
On this album, he extended his list of musical partners further, by taking on board Anneke van Giersbergen, Marco Minneman, Jimmy Keegan, and Arjen Lucassen.

Next to his solo works, together with Elia Monsef, in 2014 Amadeus released an album entitled The Book of Gates under the name Amadeus Awad's Eon (not included in this PA entry, which only covers his solo works). On this album, he extends his list of cooperations by involving Russell Allen, Kevin Moore and John Macaluso.

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Death Is Just a FeelingDeath Is Just a Feeling
CD Baby 2015
Audio CD$25.09

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AMADEUS AWAD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AMADEUS AWAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 5 ratings
Time of the Equinox
2012
3.95 | 93 ratings
Death is Just a Feeling
2015

AMADEUS AWAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AMADEUS AWAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AMADEUS AWAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AMADEUS AWAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Ghost Stories
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Schizanimus
2012

AMADEUS AWAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Death is Just a Feeling by AWAD, AMADEUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 93 ratings

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Death is Just a Feeling
Amadeus Awad Crossover Prog

Review by Mastyrx1979

5 stars My first introduction to Amadeus Awad was 2014's EON - The Book Of Shadows. I walked away so blown away by what I heard I thought this was his opus. Well sometimes what we think and actual reality are two different things. I believe 2015's Death Is Just A Feeling could be his Magnus Opus. Whereas EON- The Book Of Shadows was more progressive metal in its nature, 2015's Death Is Just A Feeling carries some of the most progressively diverse character and instrumental content I have heard since 2004's, Pain Of Salvations - Be or 2000's Ayreon's The Universal Migrator Part 1 : where the Dream Sequencer was more the progressive rock side and Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator was the heavier progressive metal half. On Amadeus Awad's - Death Is Just A Feeling you get a lot of both worlds. The albums diversity is also properly supported by a very diverse support cast this time around. You have Ayreon himself Arjen Lucassen on vocals, Annke Van Geirsbergen vocals and Eli Monasef on vocals. This one also carries 2 world class drummers in Marco Minneman and James Keegan. With a cast like this Amadeus Awad has allowed himself a lot of creative freedom in Death Is Just A Feeling. This concept is about suicide addiction and what life is like in the one persons world who suffers from drug addiction with suicidal thoughts.This will resonate with the one who listens to it and think of themselves in the same situation. Opia begins with a power synthesizer and guitar creating a atmospheric signature. This is accompanied by a wonderful narrative piece eloquently done by Dan Harper. The narrative is a person really on a journey of soul searching. The instrumental atmosphere is very Pink Floydian in nature. Annke's feminine vocal gives it a delicate balance diverse off the heavily brooding narrative the intro produces. Sleep Paralysis opens with a more progressive metal side with a killer straight away riff compounded with great time signatures and hooks that continue the journey the project takes the listener in. A some points it is almost a neo progressive metal vibe. Lyrically it introduces you to the initial effects of when a stimulant based drug begins to consume the person physically, mentally and spiritually. There are some very old school hammond/mellotron elements in the backdrop that are on point. Monday Morning begins with a very Ayreon vibe especially carrying elements of The Human Equation and 01011001. With some killer rhythm fills from the dums and the keyboards gradually taking you into the track makes for a very easy yet perplexed listen. At times it carries some Steven Wilson type atmospheres with it. Tomorrow Lies has a wonderful piano acoustical guitar intro with a heavy brooding bass drum rhythm progression. This carries many Floydian elements. Eli Monsef has a very unique and distinctive vocal. It often reminds me of Jonas Renske later Katatonia albums in its influence. Tomorrow Lies also contains a wonderful thought out and written orchestral section in the middle. This is followed up by a beautiful guitar solo passage. Tomorrows Lies also carries some various vocal effects that perfectly compliment the orchestral sections. Lonesome Clown a unusual flamingo style acoustical vibe as it opens. This is supported wonderfully by Annke's chant like vocals that are used more as a instrument. Amadeus Awad executes a double overdubbed vocal of Anneke in this one making her sound like many more than one. The vocal is almost choir like in nature while maintaining the lead vocal integrity. Then the track takes on a various series of neo progressive time signatures and hooks. This is followed by a beautiful bass guitar rhythm drum combination before going into a nice guitar solo. Lyrically it is as if the person is finding a way of escape from their predictiament. Temporary effectively ends the concept in the arrangement. It opens with a wonderful cello section on top the semi acoustical vibe. Arjen Lucassen soon comes in with his distinctive voice. Temporary carries a very Beatle-esque atmosphere to it. The clarinet solo is beautiful in the middle section. Temporary is the most orchestral based track on the concept that sounds like a symphony orchestra throughout the track. There is track 7 - Time of The Equinox and track 8 - Poetry of Time that are pre order bonus tracks that effectively wet the curiosity of the listener waiting on Death Is Just A Feeling. While both are still heavily armed with orchestral atmospheres, Time of The Equinox is strictly instrumental while Poetry of Time contains lyrics. Not since 2004's Ayreon - The Human Equation where Me is in a coma for 20 days evaluating his life in his psyche, have I heard such concept with such personal conviction attached to it. Death Is Just A Feeling is a very emotionally driven and heavily atmospherically armed concept with many twists and turns within the human experience. Many feel this is possible Album of The Year material for 2015. I have to agree it is a strong heavy contender for it. I give this a 5/5 .
 Death is Just a Feeling by AWAD, AMADEUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 93 ratings

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Death is Just a Feeling
Amadeus Awad Crossover Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars Worth investing

I can't blame my colleague Angelo for getting excited about this release from Amadeus Awad, who has progressively (sic) moved into more progressive patterns since his early releases. What seemed to be a turn in his compositional mood in the EP "Schizanimus" seems to have fully materialised in "Death is Just a Feeling".

Securing a host of extremely talented musicians has clearly paid off in this release but don't get fooled by this alone; the compositions in this album show maturity and attention to detail. We will never know if the highlight tracks "Sleep Paralysis" and "Lonesome Clown" could have ever sounded any better without the haunting voice of Anneke van Giersbergen (any fan of The Gathering can admit bias, me being among the first). Beautiful, uplifting melodies, nicely filtered influences (with sounds resembling from Phideaux to Ayreon) and a rather dark atmosphere that always helps. "Death is Just a Feeling" successfully mixes mellow tunes of crossover prog with dynamic progressive metal passages of lush keyboards, while excellent acoustic guitar catches the attention throughout.

Lyrics are cohesive, simple but not simplistic and portray the feeling that Amadeus seems to have wanted to give (author's perception). The overall "concept" surrounding the album is supported by inspired, minimalistic artwork and the whole package is professional beyond doubt. The two bonus tracks (from "Schizanimus" and "Time of the Equinox") are nice add-ons but don't necessarily fit with the mood of the album.

"Death is Just a Feeling" does not break new ground in progressive rock (which would be the next step for AA in the author's view) but it seems like a lot of effort and emotion has gone into this piece of art, rendering it among the highlights for 2015. Promising, worth investing and let's keep an eye on future releases.

 Death is Just a Feeling by AWAD, AMADEUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 93 ratings

BUY
Death is Just a Feeling
Amadeus Awad Crossover Prog

Review by crashandridemusic

4 stars Born in Lebanon, Amadeus Awad has been coined 'the Arjen Lucassen of the Middle East,' a major compliment considering the tremendous skill that comes with being compared to such a man. 'Oh really?' I thought when I saw those words; no man could possibly be as quirky and able as Ayreon himself. But after my first listen, I couldn't have phrased it any other way; I immediately thought of Ayreon's dialogues on their albums, the amazing contributions of guest musicians, and the undeniable talent of the band leader. With no prior information on Awad before listening to his latest album, I was stunned to learn of his associations with some of progressive rock and metal's most notable musicians, including Arjen Lucassen himself and Anneke van Giersbergen on vocals, and Marco Minnemann on drums on his latest album. (I won't even bother speaking of Marco again in this post. How much free time does this guy have?) Learning this, I couldn't help but have extremely high hopes for 'Death Is Just A Feeling.' One of the first times I can ever recall, my ridiculously high expectations were met.

'Death Is Just A Feeling' is a six track, 47 minute opus containing so many different influences of progressive rock and metal that it's hard for me to name them all. The album begins with an IQ-sounding keyboard introduction in the opener 'Opia,' followed by Ben Harper's authoritative narration. With a cold quality to his voice, the listener cannot help but feel they are being taught a valuable life lesson. Moments later, Anneke Van Giersbergen's light and airy voice softens the mood, returning ourselves to an uplifted state. Throughout the album, the listener will feel their emotions manipulated by the light-hearted vocals of Giersbergen and Lucassen, while dragged down by Harper's coldness and Elia Monsef's gloomy vocals. For these characteristics alone the album is deserving of attention.

To learn why the album was titled 'Death Is Just A Feeling,' I discovered the concept and themes driving the album, which include Awad's own suicidal thoughts and loss of family members. As serious as such an idea is, Awad successfully provides impactful orchestrations without coming across as too bleak or hopeless. A great example is the song 'Tomorrow Lies,' featuring guest vocalist and fellow-Lebanese bandmate Elia Monsef. With such a haunting voice, Monsef creates a vibrant atmosphere throughout the song. I especially love the Lebanese inflection on his voice, which comes across as more personal than ever, like a heart breaking during the actual recording process. The lyric 'There's a reason why tomorrow I'll be searching for today / It will always lead to sorrow of the time you went away' always hits me so hard, and doesn't help how catchy the delivery is. The depth of the song is discovered upon repeated listens, as the listener notices different keyboard passages and guitar rhythms with each play. The guest orchestral musicians appear in this track to add beauty to such a tragic track, while the guitar solo in the song's bridge section fights back in negativity. 'Tomorrow Lies' will play with your heart, ping-ponging your emotions from joyful to miserable.

The album closes with 'Temporary,' one of my personal favorite tracks. Containing both Arjen Lucassen on vocals and Marco Minnemann on drums, this song features an all-star lineup of guest musicians. With colorful acoustic guitar chords, cheerful cello arrangements, and slide guitar, the song is a complete 180 from the previous five tracks. Coming across sounding as a mix of David Gilmour and Neal Morse, I was surprised by the sudden and drastic change in tone. Lucassen's warm voice highlights the track, describing the last moments of life from a father. The final minutes give attention to Awad's momentous guitar solo, reminding me of something taken from Dave Kerzner's latest album. The album ends abruptly as it begins, containing spoken words from Lucassen himself. The listener cannot help but hit play again to continue Lucassen's thought.

Despite being shorter than typical progressive rock/metal albums, 'Death Is Just A Feeling' will be remembered. My only critique is because the album begins as it ends, Awad's inclusion of bonus tracks disrupts the infinite flow of the actual album. As amazing as those extra two tracks are, I almost wish they were left off the album so my iPhone can continuously play such an amazing album. Despite this trite critique, this album is a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Taken from crashandridemusic.com

 Death is Just a Feeling by AWAD, AMADEUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 93 ratings

BUY
Death is Just a Feeling
Amadeus Awad Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars On dark days, I may have gloomy thoughts - which I later mostly regret. Never were they as dark and gloomy though as the experiences that led Amadeus Awad to compose, record and release Death is Just a Feeling. Inspired, if that is the right word here, by the loss of loved ones, and a failed suicide attempt, this album is a new addition to the list of cinematic concept albums. Albums that require one to sit down and listen, and to feel. Think of well known titles like Pink Floyd's The Wall, or The Human Equation by Ayreon, where that applies as well.

Each track on this album fills a piece of a puzzle, that, once complete leads to the realisation, waking up after a failed suicide attempt, that

"...what I killed last night wasn't my flesh, but my connection to the surreal skies I roamed in since the creation of the universe. I was already dead when you touched my face, death is just a feeling."

The album consists of 6 tracks only, and it lasts just over 45 minutes, but it appears longer when listening. The story is carried by voices as well as music. Narratives by Dan Harper, with a low, hypnotic voice, are interleaved with angelic, and sometimes anxious vocals by Anneke van Gierbergen,the dramatic voice of Elia Monsef and the careful, almost shy sounds of Arjan Lucassen on the closing track. These voices are surrounded by music that is an eclectic mix of metal and heavy symphonic rock that is carrying the different moods of despair, grief and wonder. The acoustic opening track, with Anneke singing as an angel is one end of the musical spectrum, while the central piece of the album, Lonesome Clown takes us through metal, heavy rock and wailing keyboard music. This track is a 12 minute musical masterpiece, that would easily have fit on any Ayreon album. Actually, the presence of both Arjan 'Ayreon' Lucassen and Anneke van Giersbergen makes one wonder sometimes if this is an Ayreon album, but the music still different from what Arjan Lucassen has done. Highlights of the album for me, besides Lonesome Clown, are the emotion filled guitar solos on Tomorrow Lies (which also include a great use of cello) and Temporary, and the way Monday Morning musically expresses the feeling of remembering a final goodbye. A final goodbye from a love one, who gets killed in an explosion shortly after.

The sound and production of the album are very full, because of the continuous presence of synths and keyboards in the back. That makes it somewhat loud, but never in a disturbing way - and even the clarinet on Temporary is able to come out front and center.

Despite it's dark nature, this is amongst the best albums released this year (I skipped over a few planned reviews to write this one today). Highly recommended, certainly for those who like musical adventures akin to what the people involved in making this album normally deliver. It's a work of art, and I could easily see someone making a short, very dark movie to this album, to complete the package.

Originally published on my blog, www.angelosrockorphanage.com

Thanks to angelo for the artist addition. and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates

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