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Psychosomatic – The Invisible Prison

The Invisible Prison
by Rob Stone at 14 September 2020, 11:42 AM

Ask any Thrash Metal fan to name some bands from the genre and you’ll typically get referenced back to “The Big 4” of Thrash Metal: METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX. However, if you were to ask a connoisseur of the old school Thrash arts, and they knew what they were talking about, you would hear the name PSYCHOSOMATIC. A band that has been together for over 30 years and stayed strong through all the trials and tribulations that all bands encounter during their career. Their 2006 album “The Unquenchable Thirst” has been called a “perfect marriage of thrash-metal technicality with punk-rock attitude” by their current producer David Sanchez, who many will know as the vocalist of HAVOK. Now they return, five years since their last release with “The Invisible Prison”. Bands that have been together as long as PSYCHOSOMATIC have a lot of pressure on their shoulders to produce the same quality of songwriting that they could 20 years ago, and we’re here to find out if they have.

The opening track, “We Don’t Trust You”, wastes no time in throwing the listener in the deep end. Classic thrash riffs with a modern twist and more speed than you can handle, the timbre of the tune is perfect for the genre. Crossing over in the old school sense, the vocals have the edge that can only be attained through years of mastering the craft. Enunciating every syllable as though every single word need be heard by the listener. Gang vocals and a frantic bridge section in the middle lead towards a truly technical masterpiece of a guitar solo. This opening song sets the bar very high for the rest of the album.

Riot Squadron” belongs on a classic PS2 video game soundtrack. Bringing back that classic thrash riffing sensibility all until the vocals transform the whole atmosphere into that of a slam dancing hardcore show from the 90’s. The production is flawless with the drums particularly standing out in this track as being so tight and so intense. In case there are a few of you out there confused on how to pronounce “Schizophrene”, it is whispered eerily into the ears of the listener at the beginning of this track, setting up a very dissonant, technically proficient riff that brings a modern twist on what one might expect from a crossover album “Agents of Surveillance” takes what the previous track set up and runs with it. The tremolo picked guitar is so expertly played but does not sound as though the guitarist is showing off. It’s simply just an impressive piece of guitar playing and should be tackled by any self-proclaimed virtuosic guitarists.

Those of you seeking a slow and heavy track surely won’t get one on this album. The midway point of this album proves that with “Pandora’s Crate”. The band won’t let up and the energy has been maintained throughout the whole album thus far. The vocalist continues to utilize his expertly honed ability to phrase each new lyric as a different animal from the one prior. A lot of crossover vocalists couldn’t get away with using the same vocal style their whole career, but in this case the subtle variations make a big difference to the message being conveyed by the tracks. As the previous track fades, the next one blasts in. “Personality Agenda” opens with a riff reminiscent of bands like EXODUS with the stand out difference being the sheer speed of PSYCHOSOMATIC being unrivaled.
Tipping the hat to their peers, the band performs a cover of “Serial Killer”. If you’re a fan of VIO-LENCE but never checked out PSYCHOSOMATIC before, now is your chance to hear a great cover.

There are many things that can be said about PSYCHOSOMATIC. Their long history and influence on the genres they have inhabited as well as their sheer technical prowess on their instruments. But the main point that this album brings across to any metal fan is that some things just get better with age.

Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8
Songwriting: 8

4 Star Rating

1. We Don’t Trust You
2. Riot Squadron
3. Schizoprene
4. Agents of Surveillance
5. Labyrinth
6. Fortune Dealer
7. Pandora’s Crate
8. Personality Agenda
9. Invisible Prison
10. Serial Killer
11. Highbinder
12. Spiral Orthodox
Jeff Salgado – Vocals (Lead), Bass
Toby Swope – Drums
Dan Mills – Guitars (Lead), Vocals
Viktor Hansen – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Nefarious Industries


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Edited 04 June 2023

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