Brainstorm - Liquid Monster
Metal Blade
Power Metal
11 songs (51:16)
Release year: 2005
Brainstorm, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Crims

After the very enjoyable Soul Temptation, Germany’s Brainstorm has returned with their latest offering, Liquid Monster. If you liked Soul Temptation then you’re in luck, because Liquid Monster isn’t a whole lot different, but is that a good or bad thing? I suppose the more obvious question is whether or not you liked Soul Temptation. If you didn’t, then you mine as well stop reading right now, otherwise, please, keep reading… I insist.

If you’ve never heard Brainstorm before then what can you expect? Seeing as how Brainstorm is from Germany, they do have more in common with their Power Metal country mates than they do with their Finnish or Swedish counterparts. Though you can’t really say that they sound exactly like Rage or Grave Digger, the truth is Brainstorm stands on their own. What they do share with their country mates, however, is a more guitar oriented style of Power Metal. Yes, there are riffs on this CD and while there is plenty of melody the guitars add rhythm and structure instead of just emphasizing a melody or hook. While this isn’t exactly a “return to the 80’s” type of band, Brainstorm definitely provides a degree of heaviness and riffage that many Power Metal bands have been lacking over the past few years. However, Brainstorm is still a Power Metal band and the sing-a-long choruses and hook filled vocal melodies are still present. The one thing that has changed a little bit on this release is the choruses. They seem to have a different tone and execution than they did on Soul Temptation. The melodies seem to be catchier this time around and they tend to give a contrast to the more riff oriented verses. At times I was reminded of Grave Digger in this regard. Much in the same way Grave Digger have those riff heavy verses with the gruff vocals that eventually lead into clean and melodic choruses with doubled or back up gang vocals, Brainstorm deliver a similar experience. Case in point: listen to the chorus on All Those Words, that’s pure Grave Digger right there vocal wise.

The biggest reason this CD is successful is the variety of song styles. Not one song sounds the same on here and while there aren’t any progressive, epic, or multi-faceted tracks that contain 30 riff changes and multiple time signature changes… that’s not what Brainstorm is about. Brainstorm gives you the tried and true formulas of easy to listen to Power Metal, but they never rely on one formula too often. Everything is here that you’d expect. There’s the double bass tracks with almost Speed/Thrash riffs, there’s the mid-paced rhythm heavy tracks, there’s the almost ballad, and of course there are the up tempo tracks that go in and out of double bass spurts with the most melodic vocal passages. You’ve heard every Power Metal band in the world do these types of songs but Brainstorm does them so well and so convincingly that it’s very hard not to listen to this CD over and over again, even though the first listen gives you all you’re going to get with few hidden subtleties and surprises on repeated listens.

Metal Blade bands almost always have excellent production and Liquid Monster is no exception. Sounding largely the same as Soul Temptation the production is very fitting. The bass drums are powerful, but not over powering, the guitars are very heavy but at the same time are very clear and clean. The vocals never get drowned out by the loud production, which is a good thing because Andy B. Franck has a very straightforward but infectious singing style (that is more manly and gruff than say Edguy) that defines the band and instantly separates them from Rage, Grave Digger, and the Iron Savior’s of the German Power Metal world.

I really enjoy Power Metal when the vocal melodies can send shivers down my back and the riffs can still make me head bang almost as much as a Thrash band; and this CD provides just that. Thus, I can’t help but love this CD. It has everything I want in a modern Power Metal release: the right balance between riffs and melody, varied song styles, strong vocals, good leads, memorable choruses on every song, and great production. Though the production sound and vocals gives the band their own sound, the style of song writing we have all heard before. So if you’re one of those Metal fans who will only like a given CD if there’s innovation then look elsewhere. If you’re one of those Metal fans that can’t get enough of this style of Power Metal when it’s very well written and performed and flows effortlessly from beginning to end than perhaps you’ll like this CD as much as I did. Lastly, special mention for the advance copy “voice over guy” for reminding me that, “New Brainstorm album, Liquid Monster, in-stores 4th of April, 2005”, on every single song. Next time, at least bother to tell me the name of the song I’m listening to. Liquid Monster is without a doubt one of the top Power Metal releases of 2005 so far and will likely be topped by few CD's this year.

Killing Songs :
World's Are Coming Through, All Those Words, Lifeline, Invisible Enemy, Painside, Despair To Down, Mask Of Life
Crims quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Brainstorm that we have reviewed:
Brainstorm - Midnight Ghost reviewed by Alex and quoted 76 / 100
Brainstorm - Firesoul reviewed by Jared and quoted 89 / 100
Brainstorm - On the Spur of the Moment reviewed by Cory and quoted 88 / 100
Brainstorm - Downburst reviewed by Crims and quoted 86 / 100
Brainstorm - Soul Tempation reviewed by Danny and quoted 93 /100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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