Immortal Guardian – Age of Revolution (M-Theory Audio)Monday, 24th September 2018
The type of power metal that seems to attract fans outside the ‘usual’ power metal spectrum, Immortal Guardian have been building up their repertoire with some smaller releases leading up to this full-length debut on M-Theory Audio. Frantic, brutal, and technical all come to mind here, with enough oomph that those who tend to avoid the genre due to its clichés are still bound to stand up at attention.
While some will find some similarities in what Immortal Guardian are doing, in comparison to a band like say, Dragonforce, it goes far beyond that. The band’s chops are indeed quite impressive (as is their blazing speed) on opener “Zephron,”but the sense of control and restraint as they continue to plow through more mid-tempo tracks like “Trail of Tears” show a more progressive edge at times, while “Never to Return” offers up a more jazzy feel. Slight tweaks to the formula are a winning combination, and these deviations help the album continue to feel fresh. They aren’t afraid to go all-in when it comes to heaviness either, with some monster riffing and death growls being a welcome addition to push them one level darker and more aggressive (see “Hunters”). Of course, they can also bear it all on the more melodic “Fall,” much to power metal fans glee. But above all, you will want to return to this one due to the sheer amount of shred. It’s ever-present, and while it’s flashy it still maintains purpose and heart. The meaningful wow-factor is one that never really dissipates with additional listens, as standout “Stardust” provides evidence for.
Immortal Guardian make good on their previous releases with a real whopper in Age of Revolution. It’s got the presence and technicality that power/prog fans crave, yet an emboldened sound and ferocity at times that should help them reel in the extreme crowd as well. Excellent stuff.