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

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT 2

Liquid Tension Experiment

 

Progressive Metal

4.09 | 558 ratings

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jasusgabrielbrea
2 stars I hate prog metal. It's neither because some people believe it's the new devil in music nor for the aggressiveness it suggests. It's rather because I see it as a degeneration of progressive music (in my humble opinion and surely the opinion of many classically trained musicians).

Yes, I know I shouldn't just give out these sentences without something else to substain them (I will get to the actual review later on), so here comes the argument: for works like this!. I used to like Dream Theater when I was younger but I just find their music dull by now; their focus is to try progressive music to sound "COOL" and "HIP" to the generations of metalheads who praise Metallica for whatever the reason is; academic music is not meant to be COOL (be it classical or jazz); that's why they're heard on separate stations from the popular ones, and I wonder why bands like Dream Theater or Stratovarius are not aired much on radio, because I hear too much MTV material there. The only thing good about these "prog-metal" bands is that they induce people to listen to more challenging music (at least sometimes), although I know many people who are not into progressive music that like them along the likes of power metal and even death-metal, so it's not 100% guaranteed that it'll improve the musical taste of youth. I know I sound like George Starostin but I have no other choice but to show my dislike this way.

Now, to the actual review. I liked Experiment 1 a bit more (their previous album), because they actually managed to make some decent progressive metal with less noise or distorted bar chords, the guitar actually harmonized more; whilst it still didn't merit a 4-star rating.

And the musicianship of the individual members can't be questioned: Petrucci is very accurate (although sometimes he sound like a generic Yngwie Malmsteen wannabe, only improved); Tony Levin is known as the best session bass and stick player in rock and pop music (because he's one of the few bassists in the rock industry able to play with his bare hands instead of a pick); Jordan Rudess is an incredibly talented keyboard player in the vein of Rick Wakeman and.... well, Mike Portnoy is good, but he's no Buddy Rich, and although he's very coordinated in the bass drums, sometimes I wonder if he's playing the drums with drumsticks or with baseball bats; I mean, the guy rarely varies in intensity and he uses the bass drums way too much, but he's very talented, and no one can deny that (despite his ridiculous rocker attitude).

Apart from the individual virtuosity, not much could be said about the music: generic metal riffs accompanied with degrading improvisations (Another Dimension and Chewbacca come to mind, respectively), and, even though the overall compositions are very creative, it's still louder than thou metal; they wanted to sound "cooler" in this one and thank God they didn't go on (we still have Dream Theater though).

I can't deny there are actually good numbers here: Biaxident has a very nice latin- flavoured bridge with Santana-esque guitar licks and great keyboard feeds courtesy of Mr. Rudess; Liquid Dreams are a good way to escape from the horrible loud drums and the annoying loud bar chords, but it drags a bit in the second half, leaving us with Jordan showing his talent on keys but not much more; and Hourglass is a simple instrumental ballad with acoustic guitar (the only acoustic guitar-based song on the entire Liquid Tension short catalog), but it's not as annoying as the rest of the stuff here.

This goes to show I'm not a fan of progressive metal, but at least I consider the good aspects off it. And this is actually some of the best metal I've heard, which doesn't say much about the rest; so that's why it's my first and only prog metal review so far; it's actually worth analyzing. 2 plain stars.

| 2/5 |

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