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Andromeda: The Immunity Zone

Sweden's answer to Dream Theater, the accomplished Andromeda, return with their fourth studio offering, The Immunity Zone, and first for Nightmare Records. The band seems to be going for a slightly more straightforward and heavier sound here, though fear not progressive metal lovers, there's still plenty of instrumental wizardry on display, the band just decided this time around not to beat you over the head with overall complexity, solos, and intricate arrangements.

Opening cut "Recognizing Fate" is a pretty crunchy tune, over 7-minutes of solid melodic metal, with a really proggy mid-section featuring loads of haunting synths and lead bass lines. The more riff-driven approach continues on "Slaves of the Plethoria Season", guitarist Johan Reinholdz really driving the 'metal' aspect of the band while keyboard player Martin Hedin provides lots of proggy bits and drummer Thomas Lejon really is locking in deep with some fusiony beats and complex fills. "Ghosts On Retinas" is a more pop flavored, somewhat futuristic sounding piece, and very symphonic, with lead singer David Fremberg really putting on a fine performance, while "Censoring Truth" is just a sizzling progressive metal treat, again with lots of crunchy riffs and synths fluttering around the mix. Furious guitar and keyboard exchanges abound on "Worst Enemy", and the band really hits the early Dream Theater vibe on "My Star". Drummer Lejon really drives the speedy metal rocker "Another Step", Fremberg's vocals soaring to the heavens and supported by complex riffery and symphonic keys, and the the lengthy prog piece "Shadow of Lucent Moon" has plenty of atmosphere, melody, and heavy moments. This sets the stage for the album closer and epic 17-minute track "Veil of Illumination", proof positive that despite some more straightforward numbers here, this band still knows how to cook when it comes to complex & symphonic progressive metal. Expect lots of melody on this track, plenty of solos, crazy exchanges, and intricate arrangements.

Andromeda has been releasing solid stuff for a few years now, and it's debatable as to how The Immunity Zone ranks when compared to their back catalog. Tricky thing is their contemporaries like Seventh Wonder and Tomorrow's Eve have just released complete scorchers, so this one definitely has some competition when you are looking at the overall best prog-metal CD's that have come out here in 2008. No matter how you look at it though, this release is a winner for sure.

Track Listing
1 Recognizing Fate
2 Slaves of the Plethoria Season
3 Ghosts On Retinas
4 Censoring Truth
5 Worst Enemy
6 My Star
7 Another Step
8 Shadow of Lucent Moon
9 Veil of Illumination

Added: February 1st 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 5070
Language: english

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Andromeda: The Immunity Zone
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-02-01 08:18:09
My Score:

****This is a review of the 2009 Reissue of The Immunity Zone on Nightmare Records****

As any of you that have ever read a review from me, I tell it like it is and also seem to have an affinity for all things Swedish (yes that includes their women too! Hi Ivana!!). There is nothing worse than missing a band that has been around for a few years and that are absolutely amazing. That is the case here with the re-release of The Immunity Zone (Nightmare Records) from the Swedish quartet, Andromeda. And Yes as I have just stated, I had never even heard of these guys before but the moment that I heard the first notes of CD opener, "Recognizing Fate", I was immediately captivated.

The Immunity Zone, Andromeda's 4th Progressive Metal installment, is a stellar piece of work spearheaded with superior musicianship by chief songwriter and lead guitar wizard, Johan Reinholdz. There are extended instrumental interludes throughout "The Immunity Zone" that allow guitarist Reinholdz and Keyboard player Martin Hedin the opportunity to stretch out with some delicious off time signatures that are all too interesting. A more song oriented Symphony X firstly comes to mind with impeccable vocals from David Fremberg, who sounds like a cleaner, less raspy version of X's Russell Allen. Songs like "Ghosts On Retinas" really allow Fremberg to shine with peaceful and beautiful vocals in the beginning of the song that build and build set up this mid paced tune. And "Worst Enemy" also starts slow with a nice clean guitar passage that leads into some excellent riffing by Johan Reinholdz. Reinholdz shines all over this record and his continued riffing and overall groove should help make him more known throughout the Metal community. The guy is just fantastic. A killer guitar tone and chops to go along with it! But the epic 17 minute 26 second, "Veil of Illumination" is where all of the stops are pulled out by Andromeda. Just check out that opening riff! God damn are these guys nasty!! "Veil" features some wickedly harmonized guitar and keyboards runs while played over some seriously off time signatures. These guys are amazing. Rounding out Andromeda are bass player Fabian Gustavsson and the quite amazing drummer, Thomas Lejon and Lejon is pretty much worth the price of the CD alone. He is easily one of the leading drummers in this new wave of Prog Metal. The guy is spectacular.

There is absolutely nothing to dislike about Andromeda on The Immunity Zone. If you enjoy Progressive Metal that has excellent vocals, jaw dropping musicianship and just simply great songs, then it will take about a solid month before you stop playing this Andromeda CD. Another artistically amazing Swedish band. Now I have NO idea what is going on over there in Sweden, but I sure as hell hope that it continues. Now I have to go and back track into Andromeda's back catalog of music and I'm sure that anyone who listens to this latest record will be doing the same thing! This is 66 minutes of sheer Prog Metal brilliance!

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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