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BRAINSTORM ‘Liquid Monster’
Metal Blade(2005)


The new Brainstorm album is one of the releases that Iíve been expecting with great anticipation. Even though I have not yet managed to get my hands on the bands previous two releases , 'Metus Mortis'(2001) & 'Soul Temptation' (2003), I quite frequently listen to songs from the album that introduced me to this German quintet Ė the bandís third studio release entitled 'Ambiguity'. You all know that Iím not the biggest fan in this world of Teutonic Power Metal, even though I have deep respect for the bands which represent this genre of Metal music. My Ďvoteí normally goes to the other side of the Atlantic and to bands like Savatage, Queensryche and Crimson Glory, so Iím sure that many of you are probably wondering what makes me so excited about the new studio release of a German Power Metal band!

The explanation is quite simple really. Brainstormís music has little, if nothing, to do with the works of Helloween, Hammerfall and Gamma Ray Ė bands which originate from the Ďsameí geographical area. The foundations of Brainstormís music are built upon the great legacy handed down by the amazing Judas Priest and the bandís general mentality, which has passed on to the majority of their songs, is similar to that of an 80ís Hard Rock band. That means that the five musicians are capable of producing lively Heavy Metal compositions without sounding cheesy or repetitive. It is also quite important to mention that Torsten Ihlenfeld (guitars) and Co have managed to establish their own personal sound Ė something that the bandís old fans will be able to confirm.

Anyway, we are only a couple of weeks away from the release of the bandís sixth studio album 'Liquid Monster' and I have managed to get David from Metal Blade (cheers, mate!) to hand me over a copy. After having listened to the first three songs of the album, I realised that the only thing that has changed in this band over the past five years, is that they have become more experienced musicians, which of course reflects on the quality of their compositions. Most of the new compositions such as 'Inside the Monster', 'Lifeline' and 'Despair to Drown' are based on classic 80ís Heavy Metal riffs, which are quite simple as concepts but very efficient at attracting your attention. Once again I was really impressed by Andy Franckís voice, which I consider to be one of the best in this genre.

What makes 'Liquid Monster' a very successful albums is the fact that it consists of a variety of different compositions which will keep the interest of the listener going throughout the fifty two minutes of the albumís duration. I admit being really attracted by two specific compositions, the Crimson Glory influenced 'All Those Words' (also chosen as the bandís single) and the melodic but also quite heavy in places 'Despair to Drown'.

So far, I have only heard good things about 'Liquid Monster' from both the music press and the fans of the bands that I encounter on the many web forums that Iíve been visiting lately. Thatís really good because the band really deserves all the recognition it can get. Brainstorm were indeed one of the best bands at last yearís Wacken festival, and knowing that theyíll soon be making their first ever headline European tour, I am more than certain that they will find it quite easy to convince you of that! All you have to do is show up!


Review by John Stefanis


***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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