HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Brainstorm - Liquid Monster
(Metal Blade)

In possession of a charisma on par with the heights of Edguy and eventually (give it another record) Masterplan, Brainstorm intensify their already copious and heady chemistry through the swinging live feel of this confident, professional platter. Furthermore, Brainstorm is what happens when you combine uncommon power metal heaviness with greater than average melody... sort of both characteristics on ten, spelling drama with a capital "D" - see Invisible Enemy for an example of this, these Germans finding red-line territory reminiscent of Evergrey at full faculty. For two, maybe three years, Brainstorm has been seen as the fastest rising shark of power metal's middle tier, and the stadium-wide hug of this star-level record is destined to gather up even more metalheads, Liquid Monster surging track to track, packing a punch at all Priestly speeds.
Rating 8.5

Inside Rainbow 1975-1979 - An Independent Critical Review
(Classic Rock Productions)

Been out for a while, although issuance stateside is sort of piecemeal... this series of DVDs offers basically a (Your Favourite Band) For Dummies format, CRP gathering up the cream of the UK rock critic crop to talk about the catalogue at hand, record by record. The Rainbow one (there's also a second volume, covering 1979-1997) is one of the best, with a small army of smart, aging music guys (most capably, Hugh Fielder and Bob Carruthers), including members of CRP band Mostly Autumn and Rainbow singer Dougie White, handling the unhandleable Ritchie Blackmore smartly and in technical detail (good reach back to Purple and pre-Purple as well), also giving Cozy Powell his due in intelligent fashion. Interspersed between the talk, one gets short, rare live clips, that shows how these sometimes staid songs sped up and powered up on stage. Like a good rock biography for illiterate vidiots, Inside Rainbow offers even the most studied Blackmore fan new ways to look at these early Rainbow classics.
Rating 8

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