Brainstorm - Liquid monster 3.5/5

Reviewed: 6-17-05


1. Worlds are comin' through
2. Inside the monster
3. All those words
4. Lifeline
5. Invisible enemy
6. Heavenly
7. Painside
8. Despair to drown
9. Mask of life
10. Even higher
11. Burns my soul

Monster indeed! When I first heard this band, it was on their 2nd release, 'Unholy', and I was blown away by the unique power of "Holy war", where the band combined a power metal quality catchy anthemic chorus with Destruction-ish thrash intensity and aggression. However, the band really didn't stick to that unique combination, but, with the subsequent releases of 'Ambiguity', 'Metus mortis', and 'Soul temptation', with new and incredibly solid vocalist Andy Franck, the band did maintain a unique sound that was crushingly metal and hypnotically melodic, so who can complain. The band helped fill out the sound that was also evolved by Angel Dust, something that was at once completely melodic, full-throated metal, but with a darker, heavier, and more brooding tone.

'Liquid monster', the latest release, in no way disappoints, and carries on that fine tradition. Be aware, the more you listen to this CD, the more the devastating choruses will carve themselves into your brain. Torsten "Todde" Ihlenafeld and Milan "Mille" Loncaric lay down fretwork that is focused, more than anything, on brutally heavy, sharp, and resonating guitar riffs, that still find their time for some good melodic licks here and there. Drummer Dieter Bernert lays down a different type of power line, while the macro-tempo of the songs is generally a bit more on the slower and midtempo, the measures constantly pulse at one end with a frantic barrage of speedy beats, and bassist Andreas Mailänder helps close the circle.

There are times on the CD where vocal effects are used, sparingly, luckily, they're the only detracting point of the otherwise solid CD. Franck is just a strong, incredibly rich and focused singer, in the middle to upper-middle range, he's absolutely on target with everything he does. Mainly, what is present is the devastatingly effective songs and skilled songwriting (Wow, "All those words"!), a songwriting that is certainly quite different in focus, for all it's metallity, to say, Rhapsody, classic Helloween, or even Grave Digger and similar bands.

Because of this unique blend of effectively styled uniqueness, the band also seems to reach across a broad range of metal fans, appealing to those both happy with the European power metal stylings, and for those turned off by excessive sweetness or pappy melody, something that will not be said about this release to any extent. A strong effort that will not disappoint fans of this band.




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