Liquid Monster

SKU: 3984-1452600SO
Label:
Metal Blade
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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Once again Andy Franck unleashes his heavy side. Funny how different this sounds from Symphorce.

Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
Rate: 
0
Very solid crushing power metal from Andy Franck and his cohorts in crime. Nothing overtly complex here but it does gallop well and Mr. Franck is an excellent vocalist who can deliver and, dare I say, even define a melody. Highly superior in my mind to his other project "Symphorce" which tends to wander into nu-metal (yikes) territory. A solid listen and great for vehicular entertainment if you have a solid sub-woofer. Leyth
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Product Review

Tue, 2010-06-08 09:52
Rate: 
0
Very solid crushing power metal from Andy Franck and his cohorts in crime. Nothing overtly complex here but it does gallop well and Mr. Franck is an excellent vocalist who can deliver and, dare I say, even define a melody. Highly superior in my mind to his other project "Symphorce" which tends to wander into nu-metal (yikes) territory. A solid listen and great for vehicular entertainment if you have a solid sub-woofer. Leyth
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  • Some of this sounds so much like Black Sabbath that I thought I was listening to a Count Raven album.  Latest album from this French doom metal band continues to mix in 70s prog moves as well as psychedelic folk.  A bit underproduced but that does lend a bit of charm.  Cool stuff!"It’s no secret that the French progressive doom band Northwinds is a favorite here at Vertical Chamber Apparatus as the band continually pushes themselves both creatively and compositionally. Despite their two-and-a-half decades of existence and a bulletproof discography the band still dwells in relative obscurity to the world at large. While the group is often and not necessarily unfairly labelled as a “doom metal band” that label is really only a fraction of the story. Northwinds definitely invokes the ancient rites of doom metal—mostly in an organic, proto-doom spirit—but they also voyage extensively into the realms of progressive rock, folk, psychedelia, and 70’s inspired hard rock thus taking the listener on phantasmagorical journeys into uncharted lands. With four outstanding releases already under their collective belts the band is poised to release their fifth full-length, the long-awaited and highly anticipated ‘Eternal Winter.’The band’s excellent 2012 album, ‘Winter,’ was initially conceived as a double album appropriately titled ‘Winter…Eternal Winter,’ but the idea was shelved by Black Widow Records as a risky venture. ‘Winter’ was a career defining moment for the band as the release seemed to capture them not only at their doomiest, but also at their most mystical. Based on the strength of ‘Winter’ it is exciting to know that most, if not all, of the material of ‘Eternal Winter’ was conceived and composed during the same writing cycles that have produced some of Northwinds’ strongest and darkest material to date.‘Eternal Winter’ is unquestionably an extension of ‘Winter,’ though the latest doesn’t quite descend into the same dark depths as its predecessor, nor does it establish the consistent magical atmosphere that was threaded throughout the previous album. These points should not be mistaken as criticism, but should be taken as mere observation as Northwinds has yet to disappoint and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception from that rule. While the magical atmospherics that were in abundance on ‘Winter’ are in slight decline on the band’s latest they definitely are not absent. The dreamy intro of “Chimeres” gives way to one of the most powerful tracks of the album. “Chimeres,” with its effective use of synths and ghostly sound effects, shares a stylistic and tonal kinship to other standout tracks from the band’s discography like “Black Tower” or “Winds of Sorrow.” Adding to the atmosphere of “Chimeres” is a sinister, phantom-like vocal effect that echoes the vocals of Sylvain Auvé—a subtle, yet effective detail that enriches the track as a whole.Where ‘Winter,’ for the most part, was steeped in darkness ‘Eternal Winter’ chooses to travel paths more related to progressive influenced hard rock. The flute heavy “Crossroads” has an epic, classic rock vibe that is fueled by majestic guitar solos, organ, and Auvé’s soulful vocals. The uncharacteristic “From the Cradle to the Grave,” one of the shortest non-instrumental songs written by the band, is dominated by a 70’s style strut that seemingly burns out almost as soon as it starts. “A Light for the Blind” may just be the best representation of Northwinds’ sound. It is a sprawling track that is embedded with moments of catchiness—particularly due to the lead guitar—juxtaposed with sonic explorations to other dimensions. It’s a great track that captures Northwinds doing what they do best—crafting intricate, often emotional tunes that never fail to keep the listener engaged.Northwinds have, impressively, continued their upward trajectory by releasing another stunner in a succession of stellar albums. The band is poised to have an incredible year with the upcoming release of ‘Eternal Winter’ hot on the heels of their killer split 7” with fellow countrymen Marble Chariot. In addition, the vinyl release of their 1995 demo courtesy of metalloscope-music has just been released. ‘Eternal Winter,’ like the rest of Northwinds’ discography, is an enchanting album that is comprised of a multitude of layers. Fans of doom metal and progressive rock will undoubtedly discover and hear a lot to admire in the music of Northwinds and ‘Eternal Winter’ is no exception. An engaging listen from start-to-finish. Highly recommended." - Vertical Chamber Apparatus
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  • Limited edition digipak comes with a bonus live CD."Even if I’d spend a decent amount of time, I don’t think I would be able to find an average album in BRAINSTORM’s discography. You can try it for yourself but I am sure you’ll realize that this German band has been releasing very good albums being extremely reliable to its fan base. I am sure some will object to my statement by saying that the albums are indeed good but not stellar. Then you’d reach to the dilemma of what a metalhead prefers his favorite band to release; a couple of really good albums or keep a constant quality level? On the other hand, over-thinking music takes a huge chunk of just-having-fun time, so I will leave all these questions to the hands/minds of the deep thinkers because “Firesoul” comes with ten great songs to sing and headbang along.“Erased By The Dark” opens the album and the trained ear should not have a single problem recognizing the (by now) trademark BRAINSTORM sound. Andy B. Franck’s powerful voice is once again delivering a hearty collection of vocal melodies that do not need a lot of time to get you humming or even singing along. The guitars have a US Power Metal quality that is hard to miss and impossible to fail, so please crank the volume up during the fat rhythm of the self-titled track and “Entering Solitude” (love the opening guitar groove here). “Shadowseeker” steps on the gas and throws in the mix some killer leads that guide the song to a climax during the solo before passing the baton to the album’s highlight, “Feed Me Lies”. This song could easily be a BRAINSTORM showcase for those who have missed this band completely bringing along; the dialogue-like mix of the lead-vocals, the collection of catchy melodies (I challenge you to resist singing along the chorus) and the awesome double guitar action that tops everything off. The band’s German ancestry comes to surface through the solid rhythm that can make you think of PRIMAL FEAR or SINNER; in other words, Power Metal in its finest and obviously I am not talking about the cheesy/cookie cutter one. I have no idea about the bonus material (I will hunt the vinyl edition anyway) but having the album in repeat-mode made me think that the mid-tempo and kind of dark “…And I Wonder” leads to the faster and heavier album’s opener in a natural way, so it will keep you listening.After listening more than it would be enough to write my thoughts/opinion about it, I realized that “Firesoul” is better than the last two albums and I think I enjoyed it as I did “Liquid Monster” that placed BRAINSTORM under my music-radar. This album is the perfect way to starting dealing with this band that I think has not received the deserved recognition (yet) and I will again refer you to its high-quality backcatalogue." - Metal Kaoz
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  • Newly remastered from the recently found original master tapes. HDCD as well.
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  • Great double live album available at a budget price.
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  • New progressive rock/metal trio from the UK that has the chance to blow up big. The band goes for an epic sound with the core trio augmented by the "The Lost Orchestra". Melancholy seems to be the overall theme here reminding of Riverside, Opeth, Tool and even some Pink Floyd. It can get quite heavy at times but overall it would be safe to categorize this as progressive rock. There is the odd growly part that made me think of Opeth - not a bad thing. The symphonic parts are quite beautiful and sad at the same time - Riverside's "Loose Heart" would be an apt comparison. An emotional roller coaster ride with plenty of space and...yes...intricacy. If you like your prog drenched in thick atmosphere this one is going to crush your skull. Highly recommended.
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  • "Although Dennis De Young's concept about man being replaced by robots in the near future failed to get off the ground, Kilroy Was Here still harbored two of the band's best singles. "Don't Let It End" almost captures the same endearing qualities as their number one hit, "Babe," did four years earlier, peaking at number six, and the synthesized novelty of "Mr. Roboto" went all the way to number three, accompanied by a lively and rather extravagant Dennis De Young at the helm. It was the song's mechanically spoken chorus and slight disco beat that made it Styx's fifth Top Ten single up to that point, overshadowing the rest of the album's tracks. Pretentious, weakly composed, and rhythmically anemic, songs like "Cold War," "Heavy Metal Poisoning," and "Double Life" couldn't even keep the album's main idea interesting, solidifying the fact that Styx's forte was singles, not conceptual pieces. The saxophone playing from Steve Eison gathers some redemption, cropping up here and there, but even some decent guitar work from Shaw and Young can't save the rest of the album. Brought back to life in the late '90s in an automobile commercial, "Mr. Roboto" gained somewhat of a minor resurgence more than 15 years after its chart life." - Allmusic Guide
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  • Budget price but nicely slipcased 2CD set from this superb acoustic progressive band from Netherlands.  Set includes "Variaties Op Een Dame" and "Gevecht Meet De Engel""The Year 1978 , one of the most productive years of Progressive music in Europe . Specially in Italy , Netherlands , France , Germany ,Greece & Belgium . During my trips to these countries , i've discovered bands like Sensation's Fix , Machiavel , Parzival , Can , New Trolls , PFM , Banco , le Orme , PLJ band , and so many others . Surely i had also the first album released by Flairck in 1978 by hazard , from amsterdam airport , i really liked the sleeve cover first , THEN , back to Lebanon the same day , had a special flavour in my life . This album was & still the best progressive work i've ever heard in 40 years . I have no words to describe such beauty , except it was the first & the last interresting & excellent work by Flairck . Still i'm not disappointed by some of their works during 30 years . This instrumental album full of harmonies & new musical inspirations is a must for all proggers , it contains maybe the first trips in fusion between Classical / jazz / rock / blues & folk . Varieties is a real complete journey between these genres of music in a perfect globe . Tracks are all amazing , they have the same value , and i can't skip anyone . Erik Vesser was really accurate in selecting these songs , specially Variations on a lady (21 minutes) & Voorspel in Sofia , these two tracks are amazing & adorable , it's a progressive rock music played by essential classical equipments . this album took more than two years in the making , but got a perfect recognition all over Europe , specially in France / Belgium / Italy / , and went Platinium in Netherlands . So , if you haven't discover this magnificient Dutch band yet dear proggers , this is the right place to start with Flairck ( Variations on a lady ) 5 Stars for musicianship , 5 stars for all songs included , 5 stars for the technic used in combining Classical - Folk - blues - jazz & rock , and 5 stars for the sleeve cover . One of my best 10 albums ever , and a Masterpiece of progressive music , suit yourselves and Enjoy this wonderful piece of art . Highly Recommended " - ProgArchives"I'm not too much of a folk fan but this band from Holland has always been at the top of my folk charts. Their ambitious compositions and instrumental craftsmanship have a drive and timeless quality that could charm folkies, lovers of classical music and progrock fans alike. Next to the brothers Visser on acoustic guitars and Peter Weekers on flutes, the band is completed with Sylvia Houtzager on violin. Her name translates to 'Sawyer' in English so playing the violin must have been her born destination. The band would continue to perform in that line-up throughout the 80's.Gevecht Met De Engel is Flairck's strongest studio offering and can successfully claim not to have one wrong or misplaced note for its entire 44 minutes of dazzling virtuosity. Each part radiates with playing pleasure, regardless whether it's melancholic and quiet or fast and cheerful. One of the secrets is the perfect interplay between all members. The leading instrument is the acoustic guitar, complemented by dazzling bass guitar and an array of flutes and violin. The arrangements have plenty of breathing space though and never get overcrowded nor bombastic.While it's difficult to point out any particular standout piece, the main focus of the album is on its 3-part title track, a 23 minute tornado raging through European folk music, ranging from Spanish, Celtic and Eastern European traditions. It's particularly essential as it doesn't feature on any of the official Flairck live albums. If you want to hear it then it will have to be here.Gevecht Met De Engel is probably one of the best acoustic folk albums ever made. Given its impressive compositions it's nothing short of essential in any prog rock collection. So it's particularly distressing having only one other reviewer on this page joining me in my praise for this masterpiece." - ProgArchives[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12269","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"200","width":"200"}}]][[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"12270","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"202","width":"200"}}]]
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  • The female fronted metal scene is overcrowded at the moment and a lot of solid bands in the genre are getting overlooked.  Hopefully that won't happen to End Of The Dream.  The Dutch seem to gravitate towards this sound and lord knows there are tons of them coming out of the Netherlands.  Lets face it - Within Temptation, Delain, Epica - they do it best.  End Of The Dream don't seem to be trying to reinvent the genre - they seem content to fit comfortably in it and they do it extremely well.  Out front is vocalist Micky Huijsmans.  She's a rock solid singer and I must say not too hard on the eyes either.  The band seems to avoid the male growling and so the music is more in line with Evanescence, Delain and Within Temptation.  Like Epica there is a strong symphonic element that the Dutch always seem to inject into their sound.  Makes sense - this was produced by Joost van den Broek (After Forever) so he knows what the band is aiming for.  It would be a shame if this band gets lost in the crowd as they definitely have the material and sound to rise above the pack.  Highly recommended.
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