Liquid Wolf is a heavy progrock project from Finland. Genius behind it all is Sami Sarhamaa who plays guitar, bass, drums and keyboards.You may know Sarhamaa from a couple of other bandprojects as Kudos, Kataya, PS and Flipside. He is also involved in dozens of Finnish (and a few foreign) films for which he writes the music.
Back in 2007 he was thrilled by several albums made by Opeth, especially Ghost Reveries (2005) and Watershed (2008). Sarhamaa started off writing and recording tracks that are in the same vein. During that process he had some help from some fine musicians like Teijo Tikkanen on guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals, Matti Tikkanen Kervinen on keyboards, Samu Wuori on bass, Sami Kuoppamäki on drums and Pepa Päivinen on flute and sax. First Light was finished back in 2012 and it took two years to arrive in my inbox. I don't know why it took so long; I'm just glad it came.
The opening instrumental Two Wheels is a good example of the eclectic style of this album. It has a space rock sound not very far from mid-seventies Pink Floyd melodic structures and soloing that is related to neo-progressive rock. Lost starts calmly, featuring vocals, but later it gets much heavier and reminded me of Porcupine Tree. The mood during the whole album is rather melancholic. The vocals are nice and warm en remind me of Mick Moss from Antimatter.
After 56 minutes the band left me speechless. Liquid Wolf is much more than 'just' an Opeth clone. Once in a while you hear some guitar licks which reminded me of Damnation (2003), but who cares. This album contains everything I want to hear in playing a progrock album. All seven tracks have the same exquisite beauty. It's probably the best album I've heard this year.
***** Gert Bruins (edited by Esther Ladiges)
Where to buy?