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A LIQUID LANDSCAPE

Crossover Prog • Netherlands


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A Liquid Landscape biography
Hailing from the Netherlands A LIQUID LANDSCAPE has been a live act for several years and shared the stage with several bands like Anathema and Riverside among others. In 2011 the four-piece band consisting of Niels and Robert van Dam (bass, guitar), drummer Coen Speelman and Fons Herder (vocals, guitar) produced the debut album where they could garner support from Forrester Savell who also had mixed albums for Karnivool and Helmet.

Featuring catchy mid-tempo songs 'Nightingale Express' is a concept album about a journey, both inwards and outwards, released on Glasville Records at the beginning of 2012. The band also hired moviemaker Lex Vesseur to create something to accompany the album visually. The result is a short film with spectacular imagery, to be shown during live shows. Similar bands are Enchant, Karnivool.

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Laser's Edge 2012
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3.48 | 22 ratings
Nightingale Express
2012

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A LIQUID LANDSCAPE Reviews


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 Nightingale Express by LIQUID LANDSCAPE, A album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.48 | 22 ratings

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Nightingale Express
A Liquid Landscape Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Nightingale Express' - A Liquid Landscape (6/10)

Although much of the Progressive Rock coming out nowadays still has a tender spot for 1970's bombast, the past decade has seen a distinctly modern sound coming from a wider selection of bands. Although this four-way collision of Post-Rock, Alternative Rock, Metal and Psychedelia has not sought to homogenize the Prog Rock scene, greater numbers have been adhering themselves to this style, given the fairly convoluted label of 'Post- Progressive Rock.' Dutch rockers A LIQUID LANDSCAPE are a recent addition to this trend, and already have performed live with some of Post-Prog's finest, including ANATHEMA and KARNIVOOL. Taking the melodic sensibilities of Modern Rock with the ambient ear of Post- Rock, their debut "Nightingale Express" is no doubt a product of its time; not falling back on the 70's legends for something tried-and-true, but failing to progress beyond what has been already mastered in recent years.

A LIQUID LANDSCAPE fall on the 'Rock' side of Post-Rock. Although their music is layered with plenty of guitar ambiance and soothing textures, melody remains a focus. The band themselves describe their sound as "a glimmer of hope . . . somewhere in the twilight between desperation and surrender." Pretentious, maybe, but the description does manage to convey the sense of melancholic emotional energy that drives the music forward. With the higher register vocals of Fons Herder combined with the ambient guitar riffs, A LIQUID LANDSCAPE drew a sharp comparison with COHEED AND CAMBRIA's debut, "The Second Stage Turbine." With regards to songwriting however, "Nightingale Express" fails to have that consistency that made COHEED's freshman attempt so lively.

Introducing themselves with a 12 minute title track, A LIQUID LANDSCAPE plant themselves firmly within modern Prog territory. Especially considering that this is the first earnest output of the band, the production is brilliantly done. The instruments are mixed comfortably, and the ear-candy ambiance is emphasized just enough to make it important, without interfering with the songwriting itself. In regards to their performance and execution, A LIQUID LANDSCAPE excel; the musicianship is bright and the sound is professional. What makes "Nightingale Express" less than impressive as a whole however, is the composition. That is not to say that A LIQUID LANDSCAPE sound uninspired with what they are doing, but - like that ALCEST album that came out earlier this year - the sound relies so much on pleasant, soothing musical ideas that any sense of challenge or effort from the side of the listener is lost. Some may find this a refreshing change of pace from the more abstract approach taken by more adventurous artists, but the end effect is one of anesthesia, rather than brilliance.

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 Nightingale Express by LIQUID LANDSCAPE, A album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.48 | 22 ratings

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Nightingale Express
A Liquid Landscape Crossover Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars The dutch A LIQUID LANDSCAPE foursome have recorded an excellent debut, to start with. 'Nightingale Express' offers melodic mid-tempo songs and shows real songwriting potential in my opinion. Australian producer Forrester Savell is involved here who also has mixed albums for Karnivool and Helmet. Where the melancholic Wanderer's Log trilogy can be neglected more or less this production holds some really splendid grower on the other hand. Starting with June Fifth for example - featuring cool drums the intro is simply brilliant - the psychedelic guitars, Robert van Dam's groovy bass - wow! I've overlooked this gem for a while - but now I can't get enough of it - even though this is a relatively short example.

Next to notice - they have an excellent singer aboard, Fons Herder's voice sounds like a (please forgive me) Ted Leonard and Ian Kenny hybrid. Eh ... 'Curiosity' ... just take the gripping ballad Phases and you hopefully know what I mean ... Not always quite natural - but this time the title song represents the album's highlight absolutely - a prog masterpiece quasi. While clocking more than ten minutes this sums up their qualities due to complexity, variety, sensitivity.

Catchy art rock in the vein of The Dreaming Tree or fellow countrymen Intention, on the heavier excursions though I would mention references to Enchant, Karnivool and Every Other Fate too. As for that mix ...I wouldn't say that they've found a unique niche from a stylistical point of view ... however the songwriting definitely convinces. I recommend to check this album if you like atmospheric prog rock music.

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