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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
3 stars As other reviewers have noticed, this sounds like an instrumental Dream Theater. That means less potential for possible cheesy and/or over the top vocals, but it also invites more improvisation and less concise song structure. I am a huge fan of instrumental music, but I have to say that after many listens, this is an extremely hit or miss album. That's how I'll focus my review.

Acid Rain (hit). It's fast and in-your-face, in a good way. Great work from Petrucci (especially his spacey middle section), and Rudess' keys fit well. I wish I could hear more bass--I know Levin is up to some killer grooves, but I really have to work to hear them over Portnoy.

Biaxident (hit). What a change of pace from the opener! This is probably the most structured song on the album (maybe tied with When the Water Breaks), and it's a very positive, upbeat tune. Nice piano/organ choice, and Petrucci offers some very tasteful additions. They could have worked the AWESOME finale a bit more, because they sure earned it with the great stuff that led to it.

914 (miss). I get it: Levin is doing some truly memorable work on bass, but the melodies and contributions from other players are not up to that level. Rudess' choice on synth becomes irritating quickly.

Another Dimension (miss). There are certainly good parts: notably Petrucci's early solo and later spanish guitar-like flourish toward the end. However, Rudess' synth refrain wears thin, and this ends with generic and uninspired guitar crunches.

When the Water Breaks (hit). Probably the highlight of the album. Obviously these guys are quite talented as individual musicians, and here they show that they can also throw together an extended piece with numerous catchy melodies, effective transitions, and appropriate length solos and grooves. I would have liked to see more of this material.

Chewbacca (miss). Slow and heavy. Depending on your mood, this may actually work for you. I have yet to encounter the proper mood. There of course are a number of unique bass bits and Satriani-esque guitar runs, but they are spaced too few and far between the 13 minute duration.

Liquid Dreams (miss). The first half would be a hit...dreamy yet decisive piano accentuated by yawning bass and funky guitar. Then the xylophone effect and irritating synth appear, and the song really loses direction that it never regains. The natural biproduct of relying on improv and short studio time I suppose.

Hourglass (hit). A tasteful Petrucci and Rudess duet. This led me to their live album, which I have been thrilled with.

Overall, plenty of good stuff, and plenty of forgettable jamming. Diverse and certainly well-played enough to make it worth your time and effort.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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