By “Tampa” Earl Burton, Rock At Night
Review: Liliac’s album Madness-Release date July 2023
A young band can rarely garner success without the assistance of a major label or promotion house. There is one, however, that has entered the scene through a combination of covers of hard rock classics and their own original material. They are Liliac, now located in Atlanta, GA, and their new release Madness delivers the goods while they continue to forge their path as an independent group.
Liliac is a family band, The Cristeas, who originally started in California. Vocalist Melody Cristea, along with her brothers Samuel (lead guitar), Ethan (bass/rhythm guitar), Justin (keyboards), and sister Abigail (drums), used to tread the boards of the Santa Monica Pier, busking for tips while delivering their brand of hard rock. Assisted by their music producer father, Florian, they became highly successful in covering songs from Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, and Ozzy Osbourne.
The COVID pandemic significantly impacted the group. Now unable to perform on the Pier (partially because they were drawing crowds that were too large for the boardwalk to contain), they moved during that period to Georgia to pursue the rock stardom they deserved. They released an album back in 2019, Chain of Thorns, which tipped many to the power of the band, but their latest release is the one that is going to (or should, if there’s justice in the world) push them over the top.
From the first track of the album, you are drawn into the power and overall excellence of the band. “Carousel” leads off the album and, through the steadily increasing frenetic pace of that song, the full talent of Liliac is demonstrated. Melody Cristea’s vocals are clear and powerful, with the twin guitars of Samuel and Ethan powering the melody. Samuel’s lead on the song is also noteworthy, simultaneously adding depth to the tune and demonstrating his excellent talents.
It is impossible to find a song on the eleven-track CD that does not blow you away. “Rebel Girl” tells the story of a strong woman who is quite able to handle herself, while “Annabella” hits all the right notes with a power rock ballad. “Hypothermia” is another track that I was intrigued by, with a simmering piano and orchestral start before firing into a hard rock gem.
How this band hasn’t already found success in the hard rock world is a really good question. If you haven’t heard their prior efforts, do so. Then bring yourself up to date with Madness from Liliac – it might be your last chance to say “I knew them when…”
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