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Liquid Graveyard - The fifth time I died CD - 65%

Phuling, January 5th, 2012

Liquid Graveyard’s debut album, On evil days, was a weird experience for me. I’m not used to progressive metal, I’m not really one for progressive metal, mostly due to the fact that I find most of such acts to be just way too melodic. But there was still something about this lot that appealed to me, be it the death metal base or the intense vocals. Whereas that album was released on (the subpar, to be perfectly honest) My Kingdom Music this one’s out on the British Rising Records, and I’m glad to see they’ve got the sense to release other genres than freakin’ deathcore.

In all honesty I had pretty much forgotten what Liquid Graveyard sounded like, it’s after all been a year and a half since I last listened to them. But as soon as I colossus kicked in it all came back to me, and I realized just how much they’ve developed since then. The fifth time I died might not be that different from its predecessor, but it’s most certainly more mature and sleek. But I also have to admit that this isn’t my cup of tea, and it’s mainly due to the most obvious reason; it’s too melodic. I’m a nut for ultra-brutal death metal, so it takes a lot to make me really enjoy a melodic metal album. Unfortunately they don’t really cut the mustard.

A track like Attractor shows off a very thrashing style. The base of the track is a chugging set of riffs, and after a while I’ve grown weary of the repetitive tempo and riffing, and the song doesn’t appeal to me at all. The following track, Reflections, on the other hand is slower and way more melody driven, with a chorus that lets Raquel perform bone-chilling clean vocals, flowing in and out of pitches. Her powerful vocal performance is really the backbone of this band, and without it I’m not sure I’d find much of interest at all; she’s the voice that brings all the different elements together. It feels like she’s settled in to her range of vocals this time, and she nails the serene and soft touch just as she does the intense and semi-operatic style. This, alongside the scream/growl offered. She adds so much intensity, power and diversity to the music.

Beholder is a bit on the doomier side. It’s a slow tune with melodies abundance, and with a touch of Opeth, I’d say. It shows off Liquid Graveyard’s progressive side very well. The same goes for the title track, a song that’s clearly progressive and on the verge of pure avant-gardism. While the riffing of it reminds me of the current Swedish melodic death metal scene the rhythmic changes and song structure stands for something completely different. A more aggressive tune like Invisible names still feels like a tune of the same variant, but without as much progression and a more straight-forward approach. There’s something about it that reminds me of Arch Enemy, but thankfully without sounding so incredibly commercial.

While The fifth time I died is in fact better than On evil days I still feel disappointed. Sure, the general idea of the band just isn’t for me, but I was hoping for less repetition this time around. Despite the constant change in drum beats and such, the tempos and riff styles used is in the end repetitive and hence a bit tedious. Much better production this time around, though, and with insanely great vocals, a couple of really good tracks and some interesting ideas, but just not enough to lure me.

Originally written for My Last Chapter