'Even 12 years after it was first released, Alchemist's Jar of Kingdom is still one of the most tripped-out metal albums one is likely to hear.At the start of the 1990s, Australia's metal scene was really still in its infancy. Without the Internet or the benefit of the few metal-specific record labels like Modern Invasion and Warhead that would surface in subsequent years, the scene was far more underground than it is today. Very few bands had recorded or released full-length albums and most weren't well known outside of their hometowns as only the most well-established could be guaranteed crowds of a size that would make touring worthwhile. Despite this, it's unlikely that a band as strange as Alchemist could have remain undiscovered for very long.
No other metal band in the world was doing anything as remotely weird as this Canberra four-piece, and few do so even today. Jar of Kingdom is, succinctly described, rather like what a death metal album by Pink Floyd would sound like if Frank Zappa was their musical director. The arrangements are angular and virtually disjointed at times; the music is almost confusing in its quirkiness and the effect is sometimes harsh and otherworldly. At times, it's not like listening to a metal album at all.
Jar of Kingdom is a very strange album with some very strange elements. "Whale", for example, is the sound of a whale accompanied by some rather peculiar instrumentation. "Shell" contains some ethereal, slightly off-key keening by female vocalist Michelle Klemke, a strident counterpoint to Adam Agius' still-undeveloped death growls. The slide guitars and keyboards that dominate later Alchemist albums aren't as prevailing here but the grinding death metal undercurrent of the tracks are offset by abrupt, jarring, discordant guitar notes, strange psychedelic passages and swirling acoustic interludes. This is Alchemist at their rawest and most experimentally bizarre, a band pushing the envelope of creativity to such a point that even through the diabolical sound quality of the recording it remains clear that a dauntingly inventive musical outift has emerged. The ten tracks here marked Alchemist, then and now, as a band that plays by nobody's rules but their own. Jar of Kingdom is a journey that begins looking down on the world from the Moon, travels through the planes of the human psyche, conception and perception and ends far out beyond the reaches of the Solar System. It's a trip that is as wild and uncanny as it sounds and some may find it a just a little bit too odd to comprehend.
Jar of Kingdom was a groundbreaking album, not just for Alchemist but for the Australian metal scene. The original Lethal version is a rarity now, but the sound quality is so poor that only the most rabid collector would want to track it down. Fortunately, Alchemist remixed this album in late 1998 and reissued it the following year so that everyone could finally experience it the way it was meant to sound.Not only that, but they included tracks from their 91 demo as well, one of which, "Womb Syndromb", exceeds even Jar of Kingdom itself in weirdness.'
'With this exhortation begins what is one of the finest and most legendary Australian metal albums of all.Lunasphere remains the favourite Alchemist album for many fans and ten years on it still hasn't lost its appeal. This is where Alchemist's musical vision really began to come together, where the somewhat haphazard experimentation of Jar of Kingdom coalesced into a more coherent but still remarkably inventive form.
"Soul Return" begins this eclectic journey with two and a half minutes of flat-out grind that suddenly veers into expansive, atmospheric ambience for five minutes or more before swerving back to grind again. It sets the scene for the journey to come, one where seemingly incongruous musical elements interact in a surprisingly effective way. Alchemist is often compared to Neurosis but on both "Soul Return" and the album's crowning glory, "Garden of Eroticism", they sound like no one more than diSEMBOWELMENT, though perhaps somewhat less evil and with more Middle Eastern stylings. Indeed, while Nile are renown for their use of Egyptian themes, most of the time they use them as little more than window-dressing. Alchemist, on the other hand, actually work Middle Eastern motifs into their songs.
Lunasphere is awash with them, from mere sprinklings in the likes of "Unfocused" to the distinctly Middle Eastern flavour apparent in "Yoni Kunda", featuring the most tasteful use of the word "vagina" in any song ever written. These elements, the ethnic and the ethereal, weaved so effortlessly and effectively into the fabric of the sound, are what makes this band and this album such a special one. Without them, Lunasphere would have been just another grind album, albeit one with some remarkable lyrics.
Like the music, this also offers something different from a lyrical perspective. Even with grind as a musical base, you would have to suspect that a band using Eastern scales would incorporate some metaphysical philosophy into their songwriting. On Lunasphere, songs discuss reincarnation and spiritual rebirth, along with mysticising female genitalia in "Yoni Kunda" and "Garden of Eroticism" with made-up words like "salacrophobia" (a fear of marihuana, according to the band) and "testrodelia". Again like the music, Alchemist goes places lyrically where few others dare.
With its combination of diverse musical elements and esoteric lyrics, Lunasphere cemented Alchemist's place in Australian metal music and reaffirmed their reputation as a wildly creative and interesting act.'
Summary:The definining classic of one of the most underrated bands ever to come out of Australia.
'There’s an ominous humming in the background.It’s faint; not quite discernable. But it’s growing closer. Soon you can make out individual notes. A rhythmic sequence of guitar notes accompanied by faint percussion fades into range. It’s getting louder. And closer. And suddenly you’re buried in a wall of sound and your world descends into madness.
From the moment Alchemist’s Spiritech begins, it is apparent that there’s something different about this album. It’s not just Roy Torknington’s and Adam Agius’ unique, alien riffs, nor is it Agius’ somehow offbeat vocals. It’s not just Rodney Holder’s fluid, almost tribal drumming. It’s not just John Bray’s rhythmic bass assault, nor is it the spidery , atmospheric background electronics woven into the album. It’s not easily identifiable. But one thing is obvious- Alchemist make extremely unique music. Once described as the “Pink Floyd of Metal”, Australia’s criminally underrated Alchemist have been churning out album after album of mind-bending progressive metal in obscurity since the early nineties. Not many people have ever heard of them. But for the select few that have, whether through their “breakthrough” Organasm, their follow ups Tripsis and Austral Alien, or their underground sensation Spiritech, the truth is undeniable. Alchemist make amazing music, music that in actuality has to be heard to be believed.
The album’s frontrunner, the nine minute Chinese Whispers, opens with the aforementioned fade-in of guitar and percussion. The tension rises, the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as the eerie intro gently hums out of your speakers. But it only lasts a second before the guitars descend into oblivion, the drums and bass kick in, and the sonic assault begins. Like a kick in the face, the mid-paced drumming propels the song forward as the guitars switch between bottom-end tremolo riffing and eastern-influenced melodies. And then the chorus hits, descending into a crazed, burning segment of aural fury, carried by Agius’ otherworldly, spine chilling “Banshee Screams” (as he himself has dubbed them). Almost as soon as you start to recover from the initial shock of the sheer oddity of this music, Alchemist hit you with the blindsiders they have waiting in the wings. One after the other, synth breaks, speedy bass-led sections, a keyboard solo and an ambient break-to-climax that wouldn’t sound so out of place on a Post-Rock album all come into play, before, nine minutes in, the album delivers the knockout punch. You realise you’ve only listened to one song.
Spiritech continues on, delivering unexpected twist after unexpected turn. Aside from the mainstays of their sound-the power grooves, tremolo riffs, unsettling chords and quickly-shifting astral melodies- the band manages to mutate their sound to almost avant-garde levels for their prog-metal direction. Here, in Beyond Genesis-a Floyd-influenced synth-break that manages to turn the song a complete 180 degress. There, in Staying Conscious-a beat that wouldn’t sound out of place in a dance club or rave. Inertia contains psychedelic influences enough to take you on an acid-less acid trip, while Spiritechnology even samples Richard Nixon discussing extraterrestrial life and the possible impacts it may have on human religion. Road to Ubar contains brilliant tribal-influenced drumming and middle-eastern influences. Dancing to Life, in essence, is electronic music adorned with hints of metal. Throughout the album, even Aboriginal Australian music manages to show up in the background, from clapping sticks to the fabled didgeridoo, not to mention the subtly interwoven atmospheric synths. Amazingly, Alchemist actually manage to make it all work-the most eclectic range of sounds and influences one is likely to find this side of Frank Zappa all manage to meld completely, creating highly unique, eerie soundscapes that have to be heard to be believed.
The lyrics and vocals are performed in almost just as wide a range as the music itself on Spiritech. Adam Agius has perhaps one of the most recognisable throats in metal today, and his vocals, far removed from their original death metal territory, now encompass everything from eerie chanting to whispering, oddly-textured shouting to his original yet still excellent death growls, to his ultra-high pitched banshee shrieks, to odd, almost alien-sounding melodic singing, sometimes all within a single song. The lyrics are no less wide ranged-topics of technology, mysticism, the human condition, extraterrestrial life, the natural world, and even evolution are hidden behind Agius’ sometimes indiscernible throat shredding. But this vast range of vocal stylings and topics only serves to accentuate and amplify the oddity of the music.
The production brings out the best of the music in Spiritech. Clear, but just murky enough to save some of the inner nuances for later listens, the production accentuates what makes Alchemist so great. The guitars are front-and-centre, but never completely take over the sound, instead happily playing alongside the rest of the band rather than over them. The bass isn’t quite as clear as other prog-metal bands would have it, but it’s still miles more audible than on your typical record, and fluid, pulsating basslines can be heard the album over. The drum production is excellent-allowing the drums to carry and support the music with their large presence while never pushing other parts of the whole to the back (ala In Flames’ Colony). The vocals are at times slightly (and purposely) buried under the wall of sound, but never enough that they become inaudible. Rather, this allows the instrumentation-the main focus of the band’s sound-to shine through. Nevertheless, the award for best sounding instrument on the album goes to the synth. Always audible, yet never annoying, always a central part of the music but never the central focus, Alchemist manage to incorporate keyboards completely and wholly without sounding ridiculous, something that few bands ever achieve.
Regardless of all the praise, Spiritech is still an amazingly hard listen, and many will be turned off by its progressive and at times almost alien sound and the mammoth songs. Some may find it will take over ten listens to appreciate the album; some may take upwards of fifteen. The vocal stylings aren’t likely to appease all but the most open-minded or tolerant metalheads. But there isn’t a weak moment on Spiritech. Sure, Road to Ubar might stumble a bit towards the middle, but it’s also the shortest and most conventional track on the album, and this just proves what is already common knowledge. Alchemist excel at making extremely weird music. On par with Floyd-influenced metal greats such as Voivod and Ulver and Hawkwind, Alchemist excel at mixing the most eclectic and varied of influences into their one, avant-metal flavoured pot.After two albums, Alchemist have finally done their name unequivocal justice with Spiritech.'
'Another brilliant release from the Australian Psychedelic Metal masters, being an MCD tribute to Jeff Wayne's 1978 musical 'War of the Worlds, and the hundredth anniversary of the book by H.G. Wells.Also another Alchemist album that saw almost no distribution or promotion, even though it made no.7 on the Independent Release Charts.This 38 minute MCD is divided up into the one tribute / cover song, 2 live tracks, one mediocre remix, and 2 tracks off 'Jar of Kingdom', all this was released for half the price of a normal release! Now go that for bloody value!Eve of the War starts with the classical compositions of the original and keeps the overall feel throughout the song, the additions being the weird space synths Alchemist used on 'Organasm' and their very original guitar work. No vocals are present, but instead some sort of phased chants, and of course Rodney's precise tribal drum work is ever present. This song is really very virus like, you'll easily listen to it 4 or 5 times when you put the CD on, its just that damn good, and its actually had some airplay as well.Next come the tracks that every overseas Alchemist fan must hear, and I know there are tons of you guys out there. Alchemist live with the Canberra crowds (Gypsy Bar 1998) basically going berserk. Yoni Kunda (off Lunasphere) is a killer eastern feel track, reminding me somehow of a mixture between modern turkish belly dancing music (the main riffs!!) and some ancient Babylonian ceremonies. This mixed with the tribal drum work, the deep rumbling guitars and some insane vocals is a potent force. This is an excellent track for an Alchemist fan, and live you see a whole sea of people move in these slow snaking patterns. Alchemist use another interesting aspect to their all ready highly original musical style, something called the 'electric sitar', which is basically some sort of metal rod or other instrument which gives the guitar work a further reverb and along to the chunky bass this is as potent as gypsy music, you just have to move to it. Next comes Chinese Whispers (off Spiritech) which is another brilliant song, it goes for about 9 minutes and moves through hundreds of patterns and melodic changes within the one song. The scope and overall effect of this song (as all other Alchemist also) is just amazing, this is one of the most creative bands on the planet! The only downside are some weak sounding vocals from Adam during the high pitched sections, but then I guess its not his style, the ones on the album absolutely kill!
'Hordes of Inconsistencies and Fiction, swarm the paths of your thoughts, your interpretation of my actions, convenient to your cause I'll say again another way!'
After these powerful lines the song then moves into some bizarre Babylonian experimental session, with some of the most beautiful guitar work I've ever heard, this section is almost emotional at times, very amazing. Next comes a mediocre techno remix of Yoni Kunda, and then 2 tracks off 'Jar of Kingdom', being more death metal in their approach. Overall this is an excellent release for an introduction to the band, and most importantly for an overseas fans. That this didn't have proper distribution is beyond sad, lets hope their other releases make it your way! Infinite hails to this great band.'
Summary:Organasm stays true to its name, and manages to be all at once a musical orgasm of creativity, and a living, breathing, flowing musical organism.
'Alchemist are a band that have always held a special place in my heart.Apart from being from my native Australia, the band was also instrumental in delivering me far into the depths of the lands of prog and metal, and has always been that little band that I could claim as my own. In fact, it’s fair to say that the quartet from Oz have been with me for the vast majority of my musical journey, with my first contact with them coming as I was a maiden-loving fourteen year old. Taking their death metal roots, adding in a cup of Floyd-influenced prog-mindedness and letting it bake in the hot Australia sun for a few decades, Alchemist are one of Australia’s best kept secrets. Their fourth album, Organasm, is more often than not regarded as the gateway album for the band’s new fans, and ranks as their best release in many fans’ books.
As the opening didgeridoo strains of Austral Spectrum are joined by frontman Adam Agius’ vocals and thundering guitar, one thing is clear. Alchemist are not the band they were a few years ago. Though all four members of the quarter remained intact from their previous release, the band’s sound and direction has evolved and mutated once again. No longer the atmospheric, ultra-heavy space-metallers they once were, Alchemist have since adopted an earthier, more streamlined sound. The heavy yet strangely melodic guitars, the tribal drumming, rhythmic bass, atmospheric synths and Agius’ signature vocals all remain a key part of the boys from Oz’s formula. However, it is evident that Alchemist have learned from past mistakes, and even show a more metal influence this time around. Organasm is a great deal easier to listen to than their previous efforts, with the song writing given new focus and succinctness, while also being easier to grasp. Instead of focusing outwards on spacey, otherworldly sounds and electronics, Alchemist have also decided to turn fully inwards, embracing the Australian Aboriginal influences heard on their previous album with gay abandon, gleefully incorporating them into the music much more entirely. This newfound well of national pride does wonders for the band-Alchemist’s music instantly becomes easier for fans to enjoy, while simultaneously developing the band’s unique sound. However, never for one minute do Alchemist sacrifice their unique and incomparable sound, nor the progressive mindset.
The guitar parts in Organasm, while retaining their power and proficiency, have become far groovier and rhythmic, blending well with the increased focus on Aboriginal instrumentation. The guitar work is also more focused on riffery, and less on eerie melodies and arpeggios than previous albums. Songs like Rampant Macro Life (Part 2 of Organasm’s three part sequence on life) and Escape From the Black Hole provide spadeful upon spadeful of memorable riffery from Torkington and Agius. Although not as much focus is placed on Alchemist’s rhythm section this time around, the rhythm duo both display more than capable musicianship chops on Organasm. Holder’s drum assault has increased in focus, provides a solid backing for the band to march forward upon, adding in some killer fills around the album, even if he doesn’t use his wonderful tribal beats and odd tom arrangements as much as he could have. John Bray’s bass, while not as audible as on previous releases, holds down the rhythmic fort nicely enough, at times following the guitar duo, at others setting the rhythm to allow Agius and Torkington to launch off into their trademark psychedelic-inspired sections. Keyboard usage has decreased in presence on Organasm-but fret not. Songs like Part 3-Warring Tribes still contain Agius’ signature psychedelic keyboard usage, as refreshing and spaced out as ever.
Adam Agius once again proves that he is the master of his microphone on Organasm-his trademark throat-rending growls and roars have never sounded clearer or more aggressive. Unfortunately though, Agius’ range isn’t utilised to its fullest extent on Organasm, with his banshee screams and more oddball approaches to vocal work cast by the wayside. The newfound focus on all things Australiana has also found its way into Agius’ lyrics-most of the lyrics on Organasm deal with elements of the Australian environment and biology. Far from sounding out of place, Agius once again manages to make even the most unexpected lyrical topics work, even writing a three-part suite on the evolution of life. Thankfully, the production on Organasm is arguably Alchemist’s best to date. The guitar tones are crisp and fresh, the drums boom and quake, and the bass rumbles below the mix as Agius launches his vocal assault from above. Far less muddy than their previous releases, Organasm’s production lends power to the more aggressive and straightforward route the band has taken, and never once sounds overproduced.
Unfortunately, every release has its flaws, and Organasm is no exception. Although the band’s new sound is easier to appreciate, especially to the casual fan, many will lament the loss of the space-metal focus of previous releases. So too, the shorter songs and less liberal songwriting will leave many old fans feeling slightly disappointed with Organasm. Variety is also hampered on this release, with everything from the vocals to the instrumentation lacking the variety found on Spiritech. This loss is especially noticeable in the absence of almost all electronics besides keyboard backing. The fact that Organasm is slightly less progressive than past releases is both a blessing and a curse-the band lose some of their extremity and their slowly evolving songs, but gain a sound that is far easier to enjoy and more metal. With the culmination of these flaws, Organasm unfortunately feels less like a complete and cohesive journey and more like a collection of tracks, albeit good ones, and even manages to stumble a bit towards the middle.
With Organasm, Alchemist finally broke out into the wider Australian metal community, and it isn’t hard to see why. With their newly evolved sound, Alchemist have finally defined themselves with Organasm, and their homage to Australia truly sets them apart in the metal world. Organasm may not quite reach the dizzying heights of previous release Spiritech, but it barely ever lets up, alternately assaulting the ears with mind-bending progressive music or bone-crunching metal. Alchemist are a thinking man’s band, and it truly shows. Not one piece of music on this record is ever out of place. Even the name the band chose for this release-Organasm-is completely apt.Organasm truly is all at once a musical orgasm of creativity, and a living, breathing, flowing musical organism.'
'My, oh my - take a look at what this Alchemist has conjured.Indeed, it seems like the Australian band can live up to its name as they are capable of mixing various somewhat ordinary elements into a work of pure gold. These basic elements include a Killing Joke sense of rhythm, a Neurosis and Isis influenced sense of atmosphere, a few cues from Fear Factory's use of keyboards, Prong's penchant for groovy and powerful riffs and a death metal sense of energy and aggression. Alchemist however cannot be called merely an imitation of these aforementioned bands and styles. Whereas a careful listener will hear their echoes, the band still has their own, incredibly original and unusual sound.
When listening to Austral Alien, a few key words form in my mind. They are: fluidity, beauty, harmony and expansiveness. The band is able to construct songs that have a feeling of completeness and are filled with almost every conceivable emotion. The beautiful, catchy leads and unusual guitar effects and chords only help to achieve this feeling. Moreover, the band is incredibly talented. The vocalist is capable of singing in a number of different styles - from a sensual chant to a death metal growl and high pitched scream. The drummer is equally apt at juggling styles. His drumming is often inhumanely fast and just as often subdued and delicate. Overall, the musicians' ease at making their instruments say whatever they want them to say reminds me of jazz and some progressive rock. Thanks to this musical prowess, the artists are even more capable of creating various moods and emotions. Interestingly enough, for those of us familiar with the principles of alchemy, this sort of union of emotions, feelings and 'elements' is exactly what an alchemist is trying to achieve. The only album I can think of that opts for a similar effect is Devin Townsend's "Ocean Machine" and this can be a good reference when imagining what Alchemist are doing.
Due to the fluid nature of the music, its hard to pinpoint any favorite tracks - the album is better digested as a whole. Nonetheless, if I were forced to name the tracks that stand out the most, I would say that "First Contact" is a track that defines fury and anger, "Older Than The Ancients" has the most infectious melody and "Solarburn" the most impressive use of atmosphere. Still, unlike in more commercial recordings, these tracks seem to wash together with the others, creating a perfect whole, and that is their real function - not to be individually impressive.
I think its rather obvious that I was captivated by this release.Who knows, maybe these excellent musicians have found the philosopher's stone somewhere in the "Great Southern Wasteland" of Australia's desert?'
'With 28 tracks spread across two discs that encompass over two and a half hours of music, Embryonics is the perfect representation of a band with a musical scope and vision that exceeds virtually all boundaries.There really isn't any other band that sounds like Alchemist, from the intricate pot pourri of musical styles to the broadly interesting and thought-provoking lyrical sense, and this collection showcases eight years' worth of recordings that shaped this great act. As usual for an Alchemist album, the first thing that catches your attention is the striking artwork of guitarist Roy Torkington, a vivid, psychedlic dreamscape that captures the feel of the music within. Inside, the booklet features a gallery of archival photographs and gig flyers going back to the demo days, plus extensive liner notes on every track penned by the band members themselves. Such immaculate and careful packaging holds the promise of great things within and Embryonics does not disappoint. With so many fine songs to choose from, the hardest part of compiling this collection must have been deciding which tracks would miss out, yet in the final wash-up there could be no better representation of the Alchemist back catalogue than the list that made the cut. Embryonics includes six tracks from each of the band's first three albums, plus six demo tracks and their version of "Eve of the War" from the long-deleated and much sought after 1999 EP of the same name. The local release also features three live cuts as bonuses: the version of "Chinese Whispers" from the EP and work outs of "Yoni Kunda" and "Closed Chapter" from a Three Hours of Power radio episode in 1996. Opening with the Spiritech version of "Chinese Whispers", the track that remains to this day as perhaps the finest example of Alchemist's work, Embryonics shows the progression and development of their sound. From the raw but magical 1990 demo version of "Jar of Kingdom", the truly off-the-wall arty-prog of "Imagination Flower" and "Found" with Michelle Klemke's strangely keening vocals to the fully-developed ethereal journeys of "Staying Conscious" and "Spiritechnology", there isn't a single moment where Alchemist's reputation as one of the most interesting and creative metal bands of all is in doubt.This is a geniunely essential release not just for fans of Australian metal but for anyone who enjoys truly progressive rock music.'
Summary:Alchemist's latest release finds the band exploring their darker roots with a mixture of heavy, strange, and odd.
'Alchemist is a progressive heavy metal band hailing from Australia.They are an interesting band to say the least. Although they have been around over 20 years constantly warping their sound to new levels, they haven’t seen much attention or even much positive word being shown their way from the metal community. It’s a shame because Alchemist is a talented band that keeps redefining metal with each passing record. Originally forming on the premise of creating death metal, Alchemist’s music has changed considerably and for better or worse has gotten weirder over time. “Tripsis” is the latest chapter in the Alchemist catalog and I have to say that they’ve made an impressive piece of music that fans from many different genres can be able to appreciate. Although not so much as an easy album to digest on first listen, it’s worth the time spent to analyze what Alchemist is capable of pulling with their music. Their music style doesn’t really have any drawing power with the typical metal audience. A lack of solos, catchy choruses, and blast beats will turn most away but it’s the guitar work that makes this album so brilliant.
Alchemist had dropped their death metal sound early in their career and replaced that edge to create a sound of their own. They became more intricate as time began to wane and started to experiment with their sound, layering their sound with synth programming and heavy guitars into something more in depth and complex then their predecessors. When I find a metal band I like to find someone who stands out from the pack. The greater musicians tend to do so I‘m not surprised I came across these guys. When I first heard about this band, the comparisons made towards this band made my mind bounce. Fear Factory, Killing Joke, Voivod, and early Nine Inch Nails was not what I was expecting but from what experience I have from any of these bands I can say are true enough. Their sound can be summed up as a cocktail of aggressive metal, incorporated with industrial loops and complex rhythms that shift with progressive tendencies. “Wrapped In Guilt” opens the album with a bang. Greeting you with a roaring synth line and a trippy guitar melody, the song takes you on a journey with punching riffs and aggressive drumming.
Coming in at 9 tracks and 42 minutes, the album has a reasonable length to it but is far from what you would expect to hear from your daily metal band. The vocal work is executed by the vocalist/guitarist Adam Agius. Far from being exceptional and far from being mediocre, Adam displays harshly delivered vocals in the form of semi aggressive growling and occasional shouting for the albums duration. What I noticed with his voice is that it oddly reminds me of a slightly less processed and restrained version of Burton C. Bell. I personally find the vocals to be demanding to the listener and a challenge to get into. I said before that even though the band has a synth programmer that this is strictly a guitar driven album. Adam and Roy are a great duo that show great prowess with their axe work. The guitar work is dense and complex, shifting from heavy power grooves to hallucination inducing melodies. These guys create some strange sounds with their guitars and it never ceases to amaze me with what they pull out of the bag next. The pace of the album revolves around mid tempo for a large part of the duration so automatically the drummer will have to keep up with the fast riffs. Rodney shows that he can play with speed as demonstrated by constant barrages of double bass and lightning quick fills. When necessary he makes a smooth transition with slower patterns. All in all, a great drum performance. Now on to the keyboard work. Not overbearing or dominating the soundscape with unnecessary or overpowering synth lines, Nik does a great job incorporating samples and catchy beats into the aggressive metal beast that is Tripsis. Tastefully executed and adding plenty of depth when present, the synthesizers really blend well with the music and the overall feel of the album.
Tripsis wouldn’t be complete without competent bass playing. John lays down some throbbing bass lines that sound pretty good when his role can be felt. Nothing too much, nothing too little, John plays a decent part in the Tripsis project. The production of the album is neither solid or horrible. The drumming and vocals are clear, the guitars are upfront, and the synthesizers are present but not out in front. Despite the instrumentation being cleanly heard, the production boasts a muddy tone to it. I have a feeling that the production scheme was intentional and was specifically designed for the experimental prowess that Alchemist were going for. As musicians, these guys know what they’re doing and craft songs that blend substance with heavy tendencies to a desirable effect. A major con stemming from this album for most people would be that this album really has no stand out tracks. They all boast similar qualities and differ from each other but lack the commercial sense designed to attract a new legion of fans. I guess this might be a part of the reason why these guys haven’t seen much success in America. Regardless, Alchemist have produced a solid yet overlooked album in the year 2007.Call it the dark horse contender if you will.'
Written byBronan the Brobarian @ www.sputnikmusic.com
Группа, которая уже много лет входит в пятёрку любимых - не в дэте, а вообще. Группа, перенесшая эстетику Pink Floyd на метал-почву, и взрастившая из этого настоящий психоделический авангард - без высокоинтеллектуальной зауми, честный, по-дэтовому грубый и космически глубокий. Из настолько же погружающих в себя групп, помимо англичан, вспоминаются ещё Ancestors, и отчасти Hawkwind.
1. First Contact (03:07) 2. Great Southern Wasteland (04:11) 3. Solarburn (03:49) 4. Alpha Capella Nova Vega (04:32) 5. Older Than the Ancients (04:41) 6. Backward Journey (04:25) 7. Nature on a Leash (04:02) 8. Grief Barrier (03:34) 9. Epsilon (04:06) 10. Speed of Life (03:34) 11. Letter to the Future (05:52)
Мой любимый альбом Алхимиков. Может быть, потому что с него я начал знакомство с группой, может быть, потому что здесь находится их на мой взгляд лучшая вещь Great Southern Wasteland, про которую мне однажды даже приснился сон ))) Это самый, наверно, неэкспериментальный альбом в дискографии, зато психоделия и космо-ориентированность здесь достигли максимума.
1. Chinese Whispers (09:37) 2. Abstraction (03:37) 3. Unfocused (06:21) 4. Enhancing Enigma (Demo '91) (05:16) 5. Machine (06:04) 6. Brumal (05:45) 7. Lunation (03:47) 8. Staying Conscious (05:43) 9. Shell (04:04) 10. Garden of Eroticism (07:22) 11. Jar of Kingdom (Demo '90) (06:17) 12. Paisley Bieurr (Demo '90) (03:52) 13. Yoni Kunda (Live to air) (Bonus) (05:51) 14. Closed Chapter (Live to air) (Bonus) (05:03)
1. Eve of the War (Jeff Wayne cover) (05:17) 2. Beyond Genesis (07:20) 3. Yoni Kunda (05:12) 4. Purple (03:42) 5. Imagination Flower (Demo '91) (02:44) 6. Spiritechnology (06:34) 7. Soul Return (08:18) 8. Road to Ubar (05:38) 9. Found (01:21) 10. Clot (04:36) 11. Worlds Within Worlds (07:07) 12. My Animated Truth (Demo '94) (03:28) 13. Closed Chapter (Demo '94) (05:04) 14. Chinese Whispers (Live) (Bonus) (09:29)
CD I total: 78:44 | CD II total: 75:56
Сборник вещей с первых альбомов, и редких демок. Даёт неплохое представление о раннем творчестве, но немало вкусного оказалось упущено. Я вообще считаю, что в случае Alchemist всякие сборники бессмысленны, ибо здесь лучшие песни = все песни. Но, может, кому и пригодится для знакомства.
1. Wrapped in Guilt (04:34) 2. Tongues and Knives (05:15) 3. Nothing in No Time (05:50) 4. Anticipation of a High (04:34) 5. Grasp at Air (04:36) 6. CommunicHate (04:26) 7. Substance for Shadow (04:50) 8. God Shaped Hole (05:05) 9. Degenerative Breeding (03:47)