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Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment 2 CD (album) cover


Liquid Tension Experiment


Progressive Metal

4.09 | 558 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Note: The first couple paragraphs here are copied from my review of Liquid Tension Experiment 1. Before you get upset with me. Anyways, here goes:

This album and its prequel were my prog gateways.

I was just a lowly classic rock fan mucking about, listening for some high quality guitar work. Well, I found it here, and from there I rapidly watched myself become even more nerdy. I'm sure plenty of you can relate with that feeling.

Anyways, the instrumentation on this album is brilliant. Being (accidentally, if I remember right) mostly composed of Dream Theater, this supergroup--more like a tangent for Dream Theater, really--is entirely focused on powerful playing. John Petrucci, the man who first caught my ear, saved some of his best shreds and most interesting melodic bits for Liquid Tension Experiment. Jordan Rudess keeps up and more on the keyboards, hurling out some of rock's most prodigious synth noodling to date. The venerable Tony Levin, who is perhaps the easiest man in prog (seeing as how he's on about every other project, har har), flings his traditional Chapman mastery all over the place, with the added bonus of some sections on a standard five string bass. Mike Portnoy holds them all together, and occasionally tops them all with wild fills.

The primary difference between the first and second Liquid Tension Experiment albums is that the freeform noodling on 2 is more spread out throughout the album, weakening several of the compositions but keeping the overall feel and flow of the album stronger. Also, John Petrucci was absent for some of the song writing, so a number of the tunes have ended up less heavy and more keyboard oriented.

Songwise, 2 is pretty comparable to 1. The style of music is the same, really, just played around with further. The best tracks here are Acid Rain, which opens the record with seven string guitar insanity and features some wonderful piano work, Biaxadent, a more mellow and gentle tune with again amazing piano, and When the Water Breaks, a 17 minute explosion of talent and impossibility. Tracks like Another Dimension and Chewbacca are fun, but not as solid, featuring a number of weaker portions that drag them down. The rest of the songs are interesting but melodically unremarkable, I suppose.

When it comes down to it, any fan of Dream Theater or Symphony X or Planet X or other sorts of bands should give this a listen. Between both the Liquid Tension Experiment albums, the boys vented as much steam as they could and call it music, which ends up working here. And so, if crazy guitars and drums and so forth really get you interested, give this album a shot. Highly recommended, if a fair bit flawed.

LiquidEternity | 4/5 |


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