Review: Liquorworks -Psycho Soundwaves

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Written by Elliot John Doe

Liquorworks is a progressive metal duo from Vimpeli, Finland consisting of Kosti Aho on Guitars and Panau-Pekka Rauhala on Keyboards with both of them sharing programming duties. They have since come a long way from their first EP of Moist Computer and first album Nonsense released over five years ago, as we delve inside their latest mix of prog heaviness that is Psycho Soundwaves.

Opener ‘NICOTINE’ is laden with progressive riffing and shredding on the guitar, complemented by some classical piano before building up the pace with more catchy riffery and some symphonic keys. Darkness approaches with outro yet ends abruptly with a cross between an industrial and gothic metal soundscape setting. All in all a strong first track leaving a bit of length and structure to be desired, but there are no faults what so ever here with the execution of programming and production.

They start as they mean to go on with a melancholic guitar riff in ‘Then Hell With You’, layering over static noise and detuned guitars. Throwing around riffs and time signatures what really holds this one together is the assaulting drums and atmospheric keys creating the perfect backdrop.

‘Hostile Inspector’ is a catchy up tempo piece blending metal, prog and rock together very well yet still maintaining that dark element that is prominent throughout this album. Even throwing in some blast beats, funky keyboard leads and squealing guitars.

‘Lubrificante Intimi’ starts with some reminiscent 80’s synths shortly followed by hair metal guitar leads. As it kicks into gear you realize that you have encountered the epitome of symphonic prog metal, completed with a cascading outro.

More shredding opens up mid-album track ‘Pain Owns You.’ once again some very proggy riffing accompanied by classic metal solos and layered with symphonic yet funky keyboards that are always on the cusp of becoming either jazz or industrial; a very smart move that keeps you on your toes. The overall feel of this track is classical whether in the sense of prog, metal or symphonic elements.

‘Erotic Chaos’ takes a turn back into evil darkness and hair swinging riff magic, sensational shredding and leads a-plenty with some insane keyboard work layered with synth strings that would fit perfectly into a Cradle of Filth or‘Dimmu Borgir masterpiece. A super catchy track cusping on a bit of groove metal.

‘Sounds Like A Plan’ wastes no time at crashing in with power prog metal groovings, subtle yet extremely effective keys make this one tie together for me. The drawback here is the length, clocking in at only two and a half minutes strikes me that there could have been a lot more done here. There’s great potential to draw certain sections out or even bring another riff back around for a second time.

‘Where’s My Railotron (Funky Business)’ is hook laden from the intro guitar, blasting in with riff after riff and keys that work harmoniously with everything else, not to mention the insane double kicks used here in just the right places. As the title suggests things get broken down and seriously funky in the outro. So prog, so experimental but hell it works!.

‘Stories From The Toxic Journey’ is a dark yet beautiful piece from the offset, combining absolutely everything that has been witnessed so far from this duo and put into a giant melting pot. It’s got Prog, rock, metal, symphonic, funk, jazz, industrial, gothic, you name it. Any genre that these guys have touched upon in their well executed instrumental experimentation has culminated in this my favorite track so far from what these guys have put out. Even throwing some ethnic-esque acoustic guitars mid song, it keeps you guessing and I like music to be thought provoking.
Honestly I didn’t start out enjoying this album, but after a few well deserved listens I have been converted. My only reservation is that some of it is quite similar, very samey riffs that could be changed up now and again. But it’s what the do, progressive metal with some clever twists. Great work guys, can’t wait to see what you do next. 7/10

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