IMMORTAL GUARDIAN - Psychosomatic
Genre: Progressive Powermetal
Release Date: 12 February 2021
Label: M-Theory Audio
Reading the biography of IMMORTAL GUARDIAN reminded me of a post I had seen during a well-known festival: ”Wacken / Metal is when you meet a guy from Egypt who is looking for his buddies from The Netherlands and Mexico…” Yes, that’s part of the spirit, isn’t it? And in this case, we’re talking about an Italian-French Canadian Drummer, a Brazilian Singer, a Mexican-American guitarist, and a bassist from Texas. There are 5 languages in IMMORTAL GUARDIAN, and as the band members are residing in Montreal, Las Vegas, and South Texas, this had huge influence on their second album: While they originally worked on it together at the beginning of 2020, each band member retreated to their hometown when the virus spread. With shutdowns around the world being enforced, the band completely scrapped what they had created so far to start anew. The result is “Psychosomatic” (set to release on 12 February 2021 via M-Theory Audio), which became a truly multi-national record, heavily inspired by the current events, with lyrics expressing thoughts and emotions surrounding a year that turned the world upside down. But, as the video for "Lockdown" proves, without losing their humor:
Let’s talk about the music: This is an album for fans of epic powermetal, which leans into the progressive thanks to the great technical skills of band founder Gabriel Guardian. He got some well deserved attention over the years for his ability to play guitar and keyboards simultaneously, showcasing this with his unique dual-instrument covers of different metal classics, and fortunately he doesn’t hold back with his talent on “Psychosomatic”. Drummer Justin Piedimonte brings in the needed power, pushes the songs forward with fast rhythms, but varied enough to support the music in the right way. Singer Carlos Zema has a powerful voice with an amazing vocal range, and he knows how to use it.
When you take all these ingredients and bring them together with great song-wrtiting, joy of playing, and a good production, you'll get an album worth to crank it up. While the song structures follow the known paths, but with nice, surprising interludes inbetween, the solos are impressive and a highlight for fans of virtuoso guitar- and keyboard playing. The melody lines lead through the tracks, catchy choruses invite the listener to sing along, and I'm pretty sure these songs will work in a festival setting as well. Especially "Phobia" might become a real live highlight.
Variations in tempo keep things interesting, change the mood when necessary. My favorites are "Read between the Lines", "Lockdown", "New Day Rising", and the earlier mentioned "Phobia" because of their huge dynamic. But also the slower tracks like "Candlelight" or "Find a Reason" don't lose tension thanks to the expressive vocals.
All together, IMMORTAL GUARDIAN deliver a strong second album, on which they further develop their style with amazing musicianship and creative song-writing. As "Psychosomatic" deals with the current events, the lyrics are worth a closer look too. But, with all seriousness thematically, you can have a good time listening to their music, and is recommended for the power / progmetal fans to check it out.
Gabriel Guardian - Guitar, Keyboard
Carlos Zema - Vocals
Justin Piedimonte - Drums
Josh Lopez - Bass
2. Read Between the Lines
7. Goodbye to Farewells
9. Find a Reason
10. New Day Rising
Super Metal (EP) - 2013
Revolution Pt.I (EP) - 2014
Age of Revolution - 2018 (M-Theory Audio)
Psychosomatic - 2021 (M-Theory Audio)