Brainstorm – Liquid Monster
Oh wow. This was the first Brainstorm album I ever heard, and as a result what originally sold me on the band. This is also why I’m sitting here now writing this rewind on one of, whom I believe to be, the most reliable bands in the genre. However, I will say that I do have some slight bias towards this album, and a lot of memories attached with it. Hence I might not be able to be as critical as I would like.
First things first though, this isn’t the best Brainstorm album, and actually, as far as their discography goes, this one ranks a little further down in the pile compared to the likes of Metus Mortis, Downburst, Unholy, and Soul Temptation. The album houses quite a bit of filler, and is a slight more streamlined than the last album (which seemed to be the trend for the band at this point in their career).
Miro is still providing the keyboards here on Liquid Monster, although they’re not as prominent as I thought they were on the last release. However, somewhere along the line the guitars have become a little more reined in, especially when compared with Metus Mortis where they were on fire. I guess there was a slightly noticeable decline in their crazy mid-section harmonies and riffs on Soul Temptation, though not so noticeable as it is here. Still, there are plenty of ass ripping riffs to be enjoyed; it just pains me that a lot of the promise delivered with Metus Mortis was never fully realized.
“Worlds Are Coming Through” opens up with some slightly futuristic sounding keyboards paving the way for big chugging riffs and a massive chorus. “Inside The Monster” is probably the best song here, and definitely one of the finest the band have penned. Everything great about Brainstorm can be heard inside this particular monster (oh ho ho), and Andy’s vocals are sublime. “Lifeline” is pure Painkiller-style Priest, and is another of the highlights on Liquid Monster along with “Invisible Enemy”, which houses one of the album’s finest choruses. “Even Higher” is a pretty cool track too, although more typical of the band.
Typical of the band would be a good description for the whole album, in all fairness. There is quite a bit of filler on here which sees Brainstorm on autopilot, and tracks such as “Painside” or “Despair to Drown” are pretty standard; sadly really leaving little lasting impression. Whilst the performances are good, and there are some quality tracks, this should be one of the last albums you check out amongst the Brainstorm back catalogue.
Chris rating 3.5 out of 5