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Whereas the early 80s saw the emergence of what has become widely known as NWOBHM, it seems we now live in an era of NWOFFM, or New Wave of Female Fronted Metal, if you will. A scene sparked by the global popularity of bands such as Nightwish and Within Temptation (although the UK has only just caught up with the rest of the world in terms of mass appeal with said two bands during the past 3-4 years), it is perhaps a misleading label, and lazy journalism when the media bundles together all metal bands with a female singer in the same sub-genre. Worse still, many metal bands with female vocalists are often branded 'female fronted goth metal' when, in actuality, such bands cover a whole array of genres and styles. Sure, some of these bands are stylistically inter-related and there is a degree of pastiche and plagiarism in certain cases, but do Lacuna Coil, To-Mera, and Nightwish really have that much in common apart from they all have female vocalists? Journalists don't talk about 'male fronted metal' in the same way, so it just seems a semi-dismissive way of discussing metal bands as 'female fronted metal' just because they have a female singer. Okay, rant over. Here we have Liquid Sky, a 'female fronted metal band' or, shall we say, just a metal band. From Manchester in the UK, their new album 'Identity' has been released on Insomnia Media. Formed back in 2000, they've already released 2 EPs and an album in 2001, 2003, and 2004 respectively, garnering much positive press over the years. So, what of 'Identity'? There are no particular stand-out tracks, as we're talking about a stand-out album here in its entirety. Every track is the result of skilfully crafted songwriting, adept musicianship, a pleasingly resonant production and well-balanced mix. Full of catchy, original melodies, some songs do occasionally stray into the "I've heard this somewhere before" area, although there's no overt mimicry. Tracks alternate between mid-tempo/up-tempo riffing interposed with slower passages of richly layered keyboards and guitar chords, occasional Maiden-esque twin guitar harmonies and some skilled fretboard widdlings in the form of emotively played solos, often with an efficacious use of wah-wah. Hecate Taglietti also impresses with a powerful vocal performance that matches the bombast of the music. Liquid Sky are far from an original band, although they are flawless in their execution of the music they play. Equal parts retro and contemporary with occasional progressive leanings, there is much to recommend 'Identity'. A solid album, from a hugely talented band.
Insomnia Media
Review by Mark Holmes
4th Feb 2008
1) Tranquillity Base
2) Titan
3) Dreamstate
4) Echo
5) Stitches
6) Laid To Rest
7) Love Labours Lost
8) Watch The Ocean
9) Ghost In The Shell
10) Salvation
11) Dawn's Pale Light
"There are no particular stand-out tracks, as we're talking about a stand-out album here in its entirety."