By John Bedard

Artwork for Psychsomatic by Immortal GuardianIt is no secret that I love power metal. It is big, it is epic, it is slightly cheesy, often motivational, and it has the best album artwork. ‘Psychosomatic’ delivers on all counts – except for cheesy and motivational. Honestly, this is probably the heaviest subject matter I have heard in power metal in a long time, if not ever both in seriousness and sadness. There are no tales of Vikings or mythology or triumph. Instead, the subject matter of the whole album focuses on the pandemic and is quite dark about it. Admittedly this was a little bit of a negative for me as when I realized I was reviewing power metal this week I was looking forward to a little escapism from the pandemic rather than to be steeped in it: but once I got past that I found what is a great album that does do well to capture what is going on in many of our minds these days.

There really is not all that much to say about the vocal style. It is exactly what you would expect. I kept getting Dragonforce vibes except slowed down and a bit more somber appropriately giving the subject matter. There are a couple of times the vocals break from this formula but not very often making those moments stand out and adding impact to the lyrics.

Musically, we have the same story. It is what you would expect from a more somber power metal album. It feels a little like a hybrid of Dragonforce and Kamelot. There are these great big solos and that signature double kick pedal of the genre between slower, sombre segments. This gives a great evolution to the tracks and fits wonderfully with the lyrics.

I will admit this one took me a little bit to get into and really it was when I read the lyrics for content that I really started to appreciate what the band was trying to do. They are writing what is on so many of our minds with the pandemic. With anything this emotionally charged there will be things you disagree with. There were things I did for sure and many that really resonated with me as well. I think it takes an open mind to really be fair with this album. For some people hearing more about the pandemic might just not be what they want to hear, and I would not blame them. That being said, I rather enjoyed hearing another person’s perspective on what is going on, not through talking heads on the TV or shouting over social media but through metal. It is a cool way to have a dialogue and I do think it is worth your time.

  • ‘Psychosomatic’ is out now. You can get your copy, and loads of other Immortal Guardian goodies, HERE.

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