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Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic

Immortal Guardian - Psychosomatic

  • Rating: 7/10
  • Release Date: 12 February, 2021
  • Label: M-Theory Audio
  • Musicians:
    Gabriel Guardian (guitars/keyboards) Carlos Zema (vocals) Joshua Lopez (bass) Justin Piedimonte (drums)
  • Favorite songs:
    Psychosomatic, Clocks, Find a Reason
  • For Fans of:
    Iron Maiden, Helloween, Symphony X, Kamelot, Marty Friedman, Dragonforce, Yngwie J Malmsteen

When I first got into rock music, there were a handful of guitarists that stood out from the crowd. Some of them are still around, some have passed on and others have paled with time. Back then we learned of these musicians through the music press or at gigs and festivals. These days we discover them through social media, YouTube, and algorithms. Consequently, we are now aware of more amazing guitarists than you can shake a stick at.

Another of these Metal Gods that has now come to my attention is Gabriel Guardian. He is the founder, guitarist, and keyboard player of Immortal Guardian. The guitarist / keyboardist role is sometimes simultaneously, with Gabriel playing the guitar with his left hand and at the same time the keyboards with his right. I can only remember seeing this feat performed once before. In 2016 an Italian band called Sadist played Progpower Europe, and their guitarist Tommy Talamanca, had the same dexterous skills.

Psychosomatic” is the band’s second full release. It was written during the pandemic and is about the pandemic. The band had to cancel a North American tour with PowerGlove only days before mandatory lockdown back in March 2020. This had a big financial hit, with visas, custom merchandise and the purchase of a short bus all going down the drain. They had been working on a completely different album/idea at the time the pandemic hit, but abandoned that, because they felt so inspired to make new music relating to the current world events.

Immortal Guardian

Photo credit – Andrew Gonzales

Title track ‘Psychosomatic’ begins this aural quarantine experience in a vaguely Middle Eastern style. The song explores the interaction of mind and body. “Did I scare myself into thinking I’m ill?” vocalist Carlos Zema asks in this powerful opening song. His vocals have touches of Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford and Michael Kiske. In an ironic twist, some years ago, before the soundcheck for a show, Carlos was in a bad car accident and died briefly. After being brought back to life, he was in a coma for 2 weeks, but back on stage after a month.

The band recorded their parts for the album from the safety of their homes. It was a truly multi-national record, with Gabriel remaining in Las Vegas, Carlos recording his vocals from his home in Brazil, Justin Piedimonte recording his drumming performances in his hometown of Montreal, Canada, and Joshua Lopez recording bass guitar in Immortal Guardian’s native Texas. In addition to his new role as the group’s bassist, he also handled recording engineer duties on the new release, as he had on the group’s previous record, “Age of Revolution”.

A single from the new album was released in November 2020, and resulted in a clever lyric video of ‘Read Between the Lines’.  The song was written because of the firestorm of misinformation and hate on the internet that is influencing people to live or think in a certain way. Friends and family not talking to one another because of things that were shared online. You have to dig for the truth within the lies and not believe everything you see just because it is ‘news.’

Immortal Guardian – Lockdown (click here if video does not play)

Another single was released in December 2020, the video features the band playing ‘Lockdown’ from their homes. It is a lively, and surprisingly upbeat number considering the subject matter.

Immortal Guardian – Lockdown (click here if video does not play)

Fears begin to rise as the pandemic spreads, and these are expressed in ‘Phobia’, a hard hitting but catchy number. ‘Clocks’ has a different vibe to it and in places reminds me of some early Yngwie J Malmsteen tracks. It seems to imply that time has stood still, and the lessons of history have not been learnt. “When the clock is broken, history repeats itself “. The theme continues with ‘Self-Isolation’. A short, but haunting echoey guitar piece. ‘Goodbye to farewells’ is a fast-paced number that tells of the heart-breaking situation regarding funerals, and not being able to properly say goodbye to lost loved ones.

Candles are lit in memory of those who have passed in the softer and slower ‘Candlelight’. ‘Find a Reason’ starts with a sombre piano intro. There is more anguish in this song, because of the search for a reason to keep on living. No doubt some will have experienced this, as the lockdowns drag on and on. This is a powerful and emotive track. There’s more optimism in the last song ‘New Day Rising’, the driving staccato riff, soaring vocals and excellent guitar work hopefully will leave you in a good place. As the song says, “I fight against this feeling, so I can live another day”.

Photo Credit – Jim Wilkinson

These guys are obviously itching to get back out on the road and pick up where they left off. They presumably still have an unfinished album on the back burner. Psychosomatic is a great topical record, but let’s hope that the next one will be about happier times and happenings. You get the feeling that they have a lot left to give.

 Track Listing:

  1. 1. Psychosomatic (5:33)
  2. 2. Read Between The Lines (6:01)
  3. 3. Lockdown (4:12)
  4. 4. Phobia (6:13)
  5. 5. Clocks (5:12)
  6. 6. Self-Isolation (0:39)
  7. 7. Goodbye To Farewells (5:50)
  8. 8. Candlelight (5:24)
  9. 9. Find A Reason (7:00)
  10. 10. New Day Rising (5:56)

About the Author

Bob

I’m Bob, I hail from Robin Hood country (Nottinghamshire) in the UK. Rock and Metal music has played a big part in my life for many years. From playing guitar in local bands, to attending dozens of Festivals and countless concerts. I have been taking photos at gigs (whenever possible) for a number of years now, and as the camera gear has got better so have the photos. I continue to seek out new Bands and tend to prefer the more technical and heavy stuff these days. I live with my wife Sarah, who fortunately likes the heavy bands as well, and our cats who have to listen to it, whether they like it or not. Apart from gigs and photography (not just concerts) I also enjoy hill walking, films and discovering new beers (and drinking them).

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