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Mellotron Storm
3 stars The only other ANDROMEDA record I have is "Extension Of The Wish-The Final Extension" (listened to it again this weekend) and lets just say that this latest album from the band isn't nearly as good. That's being kind. Sure this is a good Metal album but to my ears it seems uninspired as they hit us with a lot of heavy riffs in straight-forward tracks. Little in the way of guitar solos as well. One thing I didn't know until now was that ANDROMEDA's drummer Thomas Lejon is also the drummer for another Swedish band called A.C.T. that many of you know.

"Recognizing Fate" has a good heavy intro before settling before a minute when the vocals arrive. Contrasts continue. A spoken word sample comes in after 2 1/2 minutes while the heaviness continues. Some prominant bass before 6 minutes followed by synths. "Slaves Of The Plethora Season" is heavy to open but i'm not a fan of the synths here at all. Vocals come in and I must say the lyrics are poor on this track. Riffs are the best part of this song. "Ghosts On Retinas" is laid back with reserved vocals joining in. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. "Censoring Truth" sounds fantstic to open as the guitar grinds away then the drums join in with a full sound in tow. Actually it sounds like theremin here or high pitched synths. The synths that follow sound wimpy then the vocals come in as it settles. Not a fan of this one other then the intro. "Worst Enemy" has these almost spoken vocals with gentle guitar and synths to open. It kicks in around a minute. It ends like it began.

"My Star" is the first song on here that has my attention for positive reasons. Heavy intro with synths as reserved vocals join in. Synths before 3 minutes then it's the guitars turn with theatrical vocals. Some great instrumental work follows.This song recalls their past for me. Killer tune. "Another Step" rocks out pretty good but it's fairly straight-forward. It's ok. "Shadow Of A Lucent Moon" is the other song that impresses me a lot. Mellow with gentle guitar and reserved vocals to open. It doesn't kick in until around 3 minutes. Nice guitar solo 5 minute in. "Voice Of Illumination" is the 17 1/2 minute closer. I like the drumming and bass early and the instrumental interlude from before 5 minutes to after 13 minutes. Nice stretch of music.

There are glimpses of what I really like about this band here but overall 3 stars is if anything generous.

Report this review (#232162)
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars To be honest, the only thing that really attracts me to this album is the quasi-epic, Veil of Illumination. However, I enjoy that piece enough that it keeps Andromeda on my radar. However, you should be warned that there are plenty of moments containing fairly standard, derivative progressive metal herein.

Veil is very reminiscent of Dream Theater style metal, but with the bass and drums sounding very muddy, and by extension, not very good, although the actual rhythms and syncopation are for the most part good. Parts not involving the main theme and chorus--which I have to admit are extremely catchy--often remind me of some of the more adventurous parts of Metropolis Part I. The highlight for me is the Petrucci-like wailing solo near the middle over synth strings, maybe even reminding me just a bit of Riverside. I love wailing guitar--and I'm a total sucker for this stuff!

Overall, the rating is driven by the epic. 17 minutes of good prog is worth that in my book, although you may reasonably disagree. Just don't expect too much from the rest.

Report this review (#284656)
Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Throughout their careers, most bands go through a stage where they alter their sound. Sometimes it's something drastically huge, and sometimes it's just subtle little changes. It could be a huge improvement or a complete disaster, and it could last for only one album, maybe a couple of years, or possibly even a permanent decision in which there is no turning back.

Which brings us to 'The Immunity Zone', the fourth album by Swedish prog metal group Andromeda. The songs are a lot more stripped down than previous efforts, and there seems to be an overall darker mood throughout. So what's the deal? Are they trying to reach out to a broader audience? Are they experimenting with different ideas? Has guitarist Johan Reinholdz just decided he can't be bothered with endless noodling?

Nobody knows the answer to these questions but the band members themselves, but despite the change in direction, this is still one kickass release. It's probably their weakest effort to date, but it has some truly remarkable songs on it regardless.

'Slaves of the Plethora Season', possibly Andromeda's least ambitious song, is a good representation of the change in sound. It has no solos, no ridiculous time signatures, and terribly cringe-worthy lyrics ("who can get an erection?"), but none-the-less it has some very catchy, heavy riffs, that put most modern metal bands to shame. And that is one thing this album is overflowing with; riffs!!!

As expected with this band, all performances are of the highest standard, so even with the more relaxed playing and stripped down arrangements, these guys still play their hearts out, sounding tighter than ever, and Reinholdz cooling down on the guitar has really helped all the other members shine, in particular, drummer Thomas Lejon, who's an absolute beast behind his kit, truly dominates on this album.

Of course the true centerpiece, and most probably one of Andromeda's greatest compositions, is the 19-minute 'Veil of Illumination'. There are no words that can do justice to describe how insane this song is. Featuring absolutely breath-taking playing, well thought-out lyrics and arguably the craziest instrumental passages ever recorded (check out the middle section of this song right now), this is one of the most insane pieces of music you'll ever hear.

And that's not an exaggeration.

In summary, 'The Immunity Zone' is probably Andromeda's weakest release, yet features some of their strongest songs. It's a bit of a mixed bag when compared to their previous releases, but this by no means make it a bad album. Probably worth the money just for that 19-minute epic, to be fair.

Report this review (#1790136)
Posted Monday, October 2, 2017 | Review Permalink

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