Liquid Fire are a Power metal band from Berlin formed in 2010 but releasing their first EP in 2017 comprising of two songs that show contrasting results from similar methods.
“Gone Too Far” manages to incorporate Malmsteenesque leads comfortably into a European Power metal song that feels no shame in taking the more muscular riffs from the USPM movement in making this very enjoyable song that doesn’t quite break away from the weight of its influences. Leads are repeated and injected into the heart of the song as they build tension towards an anthemic chorus. The leads never feel superfluous or excessive as each note has its importance and the guitarist sticks to similar melodic shapes that are slightly modified by the context of the song and the movement of the underlying riff. One of the leads is played in counterpoint with an acoustic guitar that reintroduces the song’s main riff that builds even more tension towards a similar lead that can only burst into an awe-inspiring stream of notes. Another variation of one of the leads replaces the counter pointed acoustic guitar with an electric guitar that eventualyl finds its way to harmonise with the first guitar. The final iteration of the chorus sees the vocalist use multiple harmonies which creates a sense of finality and ends the song in a satisfying manner. While the use of the leads is great within this extended Speed metal arrangement, the riffs on the other hand tend to suffer from their lack of distinct identity as the note selection is embedded within the legacy of their idols. Some more interesting riffs that could really take advantage of what the harmonic minor scale and its modes have to offer would push this band immensely towards the right direction.
“Fire in the Sky” works around a simpler chugging riff that relies on the underlying bassline and the virtuoso lead guitar playing. There are some good riffs in the Judas Priest vein but the band relies on too much on simple syncopated riffs especially in the pre-chorus which feels out of place in context. The break in the middle destroys any of the momentum that this song could have had by reverting to a terrible major scale 80s Glam melody. While there is development on the final iteration of the chorus, the basic idea of the riff has been seen far too many times in the genre and isn’t particularly inspired for it to have any kind of climatic effect. The constant guitar leads work more like an embellishment rather than as a central part of the song like on “Gone Too Far”.
Liquid Fire have given us two songs that function within very similar frameworks with one succeeding and the other failing, showing that not much separates success from failure in metal. Looking at how bands like Helstar and Megadeth used their technical abilities and how bands like Iced Earth and Blind Guardian created powerful rugged riffs that still maintained a large amount of melodic content. For now the band will have to show that their first song was not a fluke.