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Guardian Of Lightning - Cosmos Tree

Guardian Of Lightning
Cosmos Tree
by David Hough at 01 November 2022, 10:23 PM

The Brazilian trio, GUARDIAN OF LIGHTNING, refers to their sound as “thunder metal,” which basically means that their music is driven by bass rather than lead guitar like most metal. I didn’t find this approach overly revolutionary, but there aren’t many bass-led metal acts in existence. Their album, “Cosmos Tree,” was recently remastered and reissued by “Eclipse Records.” While I remain skeptical about this “thunder metal” trend, I did find this album enjoyable.

The first proper song on the album comes after a well-written intro track. This song is the titular cut. The bass taking the lead is noteworthy, but they quickly succumb to many stoner metal tropes. Marco Fino’s vocals are raspy and powerful, much like those of Matt Pike from HIGH ON FIRE, but more subdued. The lyrics are cosmic and esoteric in nature, and they seem a little tacked on. The most important elements of every track on “Cosmos Tree” are the ensuing jam sessions. All in all, this track does a great job of setting the stage for the rest of the album.

The fourth track, “Sound Of Thunder,” begins with thunderstorm sound effects. I thought that was a little too “on the nose” for my tastes, but it works. The vocals are cleaner and match the tone of the song well. The riffing is definitely memorable, and the keyboards serve to add some atmosphere but do not overpower the melody. The chugging guitars reminded me of MOTÖRHEAD and had me hooked from note one.

Follow Your Silver Shine” is an uplifting and inspirational track with few lyrics. Those lyrics are a call to action for the listener to follow their heart’s desire. What really stands out about this track is the instrumentation. The song starts out with the bass playing an infectious blues riff. While never straying too far from the central riff, the song dips its toe into the waters of psychedelia. There’s some nice fuzzy guitar work reminiscent of JIMI HENDRIX, and then the song resets itself, returning to the main blues lick. This is another fun track.

The song “Another Place” is about the power of music. It begins with the guitar playfully traveling between the left and right channels. After that, we are treated to another fuzzy, MOTÖRHEAD-inspired bass riff. While the song itself is simplistic, the band’s passion still shines through. There’s an impressive lead solo, and Marco Fino’s enthusiasm comes through in his vocals. The lyrics are sparse and stay out of the way of the overall jam session.

The album’s final track, “Be Like The Moon,” is a happy tune with some great lead guitar work. The vocals are delivered in more of a punk style than the expected metal singing. The guitars are nice and fuzzy, once again channeling JIMI HENDRIX. There’s even a sprinkling of cowbell, not enough, in my opinion, but what is there definitely adds to the fun.

Ultimately, “Cosmos Tree” is a fun stoner metal album. GUARDIAN OF LIGHTNING most likely won’t ever rise to the popularity of genre greats like THE SWORD, HIGH ON FIRE, or CLUTCH, but that doesn’t detract from the album’s infectious fun factor. Their bass-heavy “thunder metal” approach is innovative but not so much as to justify the addition of yet another metal subgenre. Fans of desert rock and/or stoner doom would be wise to check this one out, but it isn’t for listeners who aren’t already familiar with this style of metal.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Cosmos Tree
3. Raise Your Sword
4. Sound of Thunder
5. Aligned With the Stars
6. Follow Your Silver Shine
7. Inside of Us
8. Another Place
9. Be Like the Moon
Iron King —Bass
Lord Drum —Drums, Keyboards
Marco Fino —Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Eclipse Records


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