Instead of Italy or England, Sweden seems to be the cradle of progressive rock nowadays. Every progressive fan will know some bands from Sweden she/he likes. Maybe it has to do something with culture and the rich musical history (folk) of this country. Progress Records introduces Liquid Scarlet to us. A young and talented band from Sweden. They make music with a sphere of influence from bands like King Crimson and Anekdoten. But their modern and fresh sound is not so edgy like the aforementioned bands.
Olov Andersson – guitar, clarinet, tambourine; Johan Lundström – drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, church organ, tin whistle, background voice; Markus Fagervall – voice, guitar; Joel Lindberg – bass, screaming; Frida Lundström – piano, hammond, keyboards
reviewIn “Greyroom” (5:23) the first track of the album, the band burst out with Mellotron drenched prog. Those heavy moments are combined with melodic instrumental parts and gloomy vocals which reminds me sometimes of the band Twin Age. “Hesitating in the foyer” (4:39) sounds more like an up-tempo rock piece to me. “Città nuova” (8:32) is more interesting. This longer piece has more variation with nice guitar and keyboard parts. If you are a Mellotron fan you will like Liquid Scarlet. The next track “Molok” (5:16) is heavily influenced by Änglagård. After the hectic opening broad synth strings are combined with a melodic electric guitar. “Talking in ashes” (6:42) is another interesting piece with acoustic guitars and classical clarinet on one side and heavy Hammond, pounding bass with Mellotron strings on the other. A mixture of traditional Swedish prog and the heavy outbursts like Anekdoten. In “Comes near, lingers far” (8:25) the band combines the edgy Änglagård opening with the melodic and gloomy atmospheres of Paatos and Anekdoten (Mellotron flutes). You will also hear some King Crimson guitars. The opening of “The red stairs” (5:52) is more relaxed. But slowly the tension is building up to an outburst with heavy Mellotron strings. The last track of the album is called “One last masquerade” (8:13). Not only are the lyrics dark and melancholic. The choice of using a church organ in the end fits the atmosphere of melancholiness.
The opening and closing tracks prove that Liquid Scarlet has the potential to develop an own style which rely not too much on the bands that influenced them. I’m talking about their Swedish predecessors Anekdoten, Änglagård and Twin Age. But if you like those aforementioned bands you must give Liquid Scarlet a try. For this young new band lies a bright future ahead.