ANDROMEDA — The Immunity Zone (review)

ANDROMEDA — The Immunity Zone album cover Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
martindavey87
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.
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