A very fine release.
Kalle Wallner is the guitarist with RPWL and Blind Ego represents his alter ego outside of that band. Anyone witnessing his performance with RPWL at the Summer's End Festival will attest to his brilliant playing of the Pink Floyd-like material. Here he gets to flex his muscles in a more diverse and, at times heavier way, nonetheless everything is in a highly melodic vein and he's rapidly becoming one of my favourite guitarists. His previous solo albums, 2007's 'Mirror' and 2009's 'Numb', were respectively melancholic and heavy; 'Liquid' marries these facets rather nicely.
Wallner has assembled a classy set of performers to support him in the form of drummer Michael Schwager (ex-Dreamscape), bassists Sebastian Harnack (Sylvan), Ralf Schwager (Subsignal) and Heiko Jung (Panzerballet). Additionally, vocal duties are handled by Erik Blomkvist, Arne Menses (Subsignal) and Aaron Brooks (Simeon Soul Charger), therein lay a reason why I prefer Blind Ego over the RPWL output. Due to Yogi Lang's vocal limitations they can sound a bit pedestrian and one-paced, but the three singers employed on this album are more dynamic and each brings something different to the party. Lang, however, is responsible for the excellent production on the album.
This is a very fine release which, I suggest, should appeal to all readers of this magazine & website given the great hooks and choruses as well as the terrific playing. There's also a good variety in the material, with both electric and acoustic based tracks. 'Never Escape The Storm' uses both superbly. A delightfully sensitive acoustic introduction is usurped by a wonderfully powerful electric which has Wallner's melodic prowess all over it. Indeed, he's my kind of guitarist who never lets speed and flash get in the way of tunefulness and melody; he allows his playing to breathe.
A number of the tracks may, on first appearance, seem quite simple. However, listen carefully and there's all manner of clever and very pleasing little nuances and accentuations that add subtly to the mix. A case in point is the splendid 'Blackened', which also features a great chorus. 'What If' puts me in mind of Kamelot whilst 'Not Going Away' isn't unlike what one would expect from RPWL, but with better vocals. At times, I'm also reminded of Vanden Plas and my old mates Balance Of Power for the inherent heaviness whilst remaining entirely accessible.