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Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment CD (album) cover


Liquid Tension Experiment


Progressive Metal

3.81 | 404 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Sweet but unsatisfying candy floss.

Hey, what's wrong with music to entertain? Nothing. But there needs to be a hook, assuring us there's something substantial to return to, to dig for and discover on subsequent listenings. Not here. LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT is all taste and no food.

Many of these tracks are front-loaded: that is, they come out with their theme immediately, then offer variations on it for the remainder of their duration. Apart from the glorious 'Paradigm Shift' - the title should tell us there are changes coming - these tracks advertise themselves in the first few seconds. Just like candy floss, the first taste is the best. Yes, 'Paradigm Shift' is wonderful, and could easily grace any DREAM THEATER album. But I can't imagine myself remembering any of the subsequent tracks. 'Three Minute Warning', in particular, is almost unlistenable. I know it was practically extemporaneous, but that doesn't make it sound any better.

Oh yes. A special mention of the DREAM THEATER gratuitous humour, which destroys the album at the end of 'Universal Mind'. Part of the trick of creating something listeners want to immerse themselves in is NOT to jerk them back into the real world. Tacking silly tunes on to the end of a serious piece is the musical equivalent of Tolkien giving the orcs machine guns. This is an old DT trick and I cringe every time they do it. 'The Simpsons Theme' in the middle of 'A Change of Seasons' anyone?

I know I won't return to a book if, at the end of first reading it, I find myself thinking more about the writing techniques than the characters and story. In the same way LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT impresses me with the technical skill of its members, but provides me with nothing worth returning for. Definitely in the 'haul out occasionally to impress my friends' category.

Contemporary musicians will love it, but progressive music listeners will, like me, wonder what the fuss is about.

russellk | 2/5 |


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