Brainstorm - Liquid Monster - 2005 - Metal Blade
|Track Listing1. Worlds Are Coming Through|
2. Inside The Monster
3. All Those Words
5. Invisible Enemy
8. Despair To Drown
9. Mask Of Life
10. Even Higher
11. Burns My Soul
I've been on the Brainstorm band wagon since the very beginning. I remember reading demo reviews of the group and hearing folks compare the band to the likes of Vicious Rumors and Iced Earth. After special ordering their first record through B.O. Records I was immediately hooked. When their second album, "Unholy", was released I was singing the praises of Brainstorm to everyone I knew. I was disappointed to learn that Marcus Jurgens was no longer the band's vocalist after "Unholy". My hopes for the group were further hampered when I saw that Metal Blade had signed the band. But new vocalist Andy B. Frank and Metal Blade combined to make "Ambiguity" the band's best. The group continued their merry march with "Metus Mortis", a slightly more progressive album. Then came "Soul Temptation" and I hit a brick wall. For some reason that record was a huge let down for me, really slowing the band's steady steps forward. Now comes "Liquid Monster", an album that can make or break Brainstorm for me for life. What is the verdict?
After six listens through and through it seems that Brainstorm are back to basics here, really capturing the mood and sounds of their first three releases. At times "Ambiguity" really seems to be the style and influence on this album. Brainstorm produced the release themselves and received some help mastering the record from Achim Kohler (Rage, Black Destiny), turning this into possibly the most innovative album to date for the group.
From start to finish "Liquid Monster" proves to be the band's crowning achievment. Built on a fast paced engine driven by Bernert's double bass, Brainstorm match the album's speed with plenty of guitar driven melody, at times launching into soul stirring stomp riffs. Devastating crunchy slabs like "Inside The Monster" and "Even Higher" really showcase this band's forte; the ability to deliver melody at fast speed. In power metal terms Brainstorm is like early In Flames, creating catchy hooks in the middle of chaos. Cuts like "Painside" and "Burns My Soul" hit a driving rhythm punctuated by huge, fat grooves that border on modern Megadeth. Frank's vocals are a stirring prescence, conveying so much emotion with his voice and delivery.
"Liquid Monster" is really where Brainstorm needs to be at this point in their career. They have more than made up for the dull effort on "Soul Temptation", taking their power to another level. While bands like Nevermore and Eidolon struggle with their purpose, this band has already decided what their role and purpose is, to be the leader of modern power metal. In my eyes and ears "Liquid Monster" earns them that right.