Label : Insomnia Media

Review by Lithium

Whenever I listen to an album for the first time I’m always interested to see what my reaction will be. Sometimes all I can do is to ask, “Why ?”. Other times I might ask, “Why not ?”. In the case of “Identity” from Liquid Sky my initial reaction was simply, “Hell Yeah !”. It’s what I would describe as classy British metal with a progressive edge. Not overly complicated, not overwrought with unfounded angst, not over-anything, really. Just good, solid, traditionally based British metal done the way it should be done – the British way. “Identity” is one of those discs that doesn’t waste any time getting right down to business. After a brief instrumental comes the album’s high point, “Titan”. Its opening riffs feature some nice artificial pinched harmonics (aka squealy riffs) that immediately let us know that something truly special lies in store. In fact, it’s apparent from the very outset that this album has more to do with late-period Whitesnake and Martin-era Black Sabbath than it does with anything from the Gothic side of the femme-metal scene. Yes, there is a female singer and yes, there are some keyboards. But, the singer is not like the others and the keyboards lean slightly more progressive than they do Gothic. The first words sung on this album are “Read My Hidden Thoughts”. The interesting thing about this is that vocalist Hecate Taglietti sings ‘hidden’ as ‘hid on’. But she does this so naturally and so convincingly that one gets the impression this is exactly how she talks. When combined with her sweet voice and touching delivery, the effect is quite endearing. Still, in opener “Titan” it is guitarists Jonathan Craven and Andy Midgly who steal the show. They trade scorching leads that seem to keep coming at you without letting up. And just when you think they are finished, they somehow manage to kick things into an even higher gear that you never suspected was there. As impressive as that may be, it is still Hecate who is the important one here. She won’t split your eardrums or make you want to slit your wrists. But, if you’re not careful, she just might melt your heart. Hecate infuses a genuine sweetness and vulnerability into her lyrics that are so unlike the over-the-top soprano histrionics we sometimes hear. Rather than some illusory opera diva in a ball dress, what we find instead is the girl next door. A real person with the same feelings, emotions and problems as we have. “Dreamstate” for example features the refrain, “When I dream of you, it feels so true. I’m wishing that’s the way it was”. Not exactly what one would consider typical metal fare, but Hecate sells it so well that one gets the impression she is not selling it at all. My only negative reaction to this CD began in response to some faint croaking sounds I heard on “Stitches”. I immediately thought to myself, ‘”No! They didn’t!” Well, yes they did. Another otherwise-perfectly-fine song piled onto the scrap heap of otherwise-perfectly-fine songs that have been ruined by some dude trying to sound like a scary monster. This is not the least bit pleasant, it’s not dramatic and it’s not even interesting. It’s ridiculous and annoying, and in this case extremely out of place. Instead of this joker/croaker, listeners would have been much better served by some nice vocal harmonies from Hecate. In fact, by the time the next song, “Laid to Rest”, had finished my reaction was, “Leave her alone, Cookie Monster, or I just may have to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Sesame Street”. Other than that I liked everything about this album. Fortunately, only one other song featured extreme male vocals. Overall, “Identity”  is a very worthy effort. The songwriting is strong, the musicianship is first-rate and the vocals of Hecate are nothing short of flawless. Recommended for all fans of femme metal. Male vocals: Moderate amount of growled vocals featured on three songs.

Rating – 75/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Tranquillity Base
  2. Titan
  3. Dreamstate
  4. Echo
  5. Stiches
  6. Laid to Rest
  7. Love Labours Lost
  8. Watch the Ocean
  9. Ghost in the Shell
  10. Salvation
  11. Dawn’s Pale Light

 

Line Up

  • Hecate Taglietti – Vocals
  • Andy Midgley – Guitars
  • Jonathan Craven – Guitar
  • Rick Ogden – Keyboards
  • Den Constable – Bass 
  • Anthony Marginson – Drums  

 

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