WORDS: Laura McCarthy
With such a high level of new material out this year from bands new and old, it might seem that anything else that arrives in the near future might as well be written on. However, this would be a big mistake. GUARDIAN’s new album Revolution is a force to be reckoned with. If you are looking for your new favourite band for 2016, this could very much be it.
Instantly atmospheric and attention grabbing is intro track Resolution. However, the mood takes an instantly heavier turn when it comes to the second track, the albums namesake, Revoltution. Built with a huge amounts of power and intention, this is one huge and filthy track. Imagine the worst mood you’ve ever been- heavy enough for you to be stilled by its end, but with enough drops and incredible licks and vocals to level out the crushing weight of the deep tonality. This track does not keep still, it shifts and adds different layers to the playing and expression that is rarely seen in a band this unknown.
Politics, while it’s not surprise the themes of this particular track, the amount of power makes this topic feel refreshed and the resentment renewed. There are rises and falls that epitomise the very core of this band. It’s very interesting to hear the mix around of drumming patterns here by Josh Stephen– while not overtly obvious, the whole track rides on the very subtle movements around the kit, while the strings and mixture of vocals complete this huge song.
The first track to become a single, Innovative, could possibly be one of the most well put together tracks in terms of composition. Ever instrument is given room to breathe, while the collective mashing of sounds is insanely intense. The rise and change of Mathew Hall’s vocals is amazing, truly hair raising stuff, while the thunder of drums and guitar are immensely satisfying. The track lives up to its title right until the very last moments. Heart pumping, eyes wide, we fall into the next track Capitalism. This super bass-heavy track is another mammoth track for the onslaught of noise that is GUARDIAN. For a band releasing their debut, this is one hell of an introduction. For anyone looking for a band lyrically powerful material, talking big socio-topics, while filling the air with music that evokes all the passion and frustration at modern life, the churn of chaos around us, then this should be the band to look to.
Deliverance again is different to that which has gone before it. Faster, more what you might expect from HEART OF A COWARD, or THE GHOST INSIDE. By no means a negative there, this is a wonderful offering of great musicianship and proves that the band obviously know their sound and influences well. It’s also worth noting that the slow decent of the track at its ending is phenomenal. Weighty and meaty, it’s worth the getting this album just for that.
To take a title and call it Catharsis is pretty hold. Happily though, it’s exactly what is delivered. One almost tailored for a live show, the united cries of the crowd will only be lost to the chaos that is inevitable around the pits that this track will create. It’s almost a promise that you’ll feel better after listening to this gnarly tune.
Propaganda, once more socially aware in its lyrics comes right into your ears like the realisation of years of manipulation and distrust. There are definable links back to bands like MACHINE HEAD here, but GUARDIAN are making it very clear that this is their own patch. Never copy-cat or encroaching on other bands tonality, the small points of reference are wonderful to hear, while the larger sound at hand punches you in the gut.
The title of the next track is oddly optimistic. Hope is filled with bright riffs from Zac Yates and complimentary bass tones from Cory Young, with the impeccable vocals and overall melody that you will come to expect at this point this this album. Instantly likable, it will soon become one of your favourites in this already very high standard record.
The opening to Nomadic is almost dance-y and the tune itself, while still very much a metal/hardcore orientated song is braver and more optimistic. To create songs that are instantly linked with their titles is difficult, but the collective of themes covered in the music alone is massively impressive on this album. If GUARDIAN keep on track with this throughout their career, you’ve got yourselves a very unique and creative band.
Penultimate track Ambivalence is every bit as much an onslaught of sound as the first track. It might be advisable to take breaks in this record, as the intensity levels don’t decline, they only shift like some kind of mental rollercoaster with the speed at absolute maximum. Equally, this goes for closer Restoration, with blistering fires in the vocals and stacks of spine tingling riffs and licks, completely off the chart drum beats and deep, throaty stings that keep everything in check.
Praise couldn’t be higher for GUARDIAN, with this kind of material so early on in a career, the scene is very much in need of such an offering. Blisteringly good, swooping down from above and rising up from the depths, this record comes from all angles to blow your minds.
Revolution is set for release on January 22nd 2016