My love for ALCHEMIST started in a rather bizarre fashion. Back in 2002, I was really trying to get my hands on the out of print ATHEIST albums. I had “Unquestionable Presence” at that point and was looking for “Elements”. I was at a CD store, checking out the used CDs, when I saw a band name that started with the letter “A” and ended with “ist”. Plus the CD had a one word title. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ATHEIST’s “Elements” but ALCHEMIST’s “Organasm”. I was a bit disappointed, but then after reading up on the band, I was interested. I took a chance with them and was really blown away. It was a very unique sounding album, with the emphasis more on creating a very ominous atmosphere and having melodies that are “out-there” than in beating your head in. The album sounded like you were in outer space, watching a civilization grow and go through technological and social advancements. After 3 years, that album is still fresh to my ears.
“Austral Alien” is the follow-up album. The band has expanded ten-fold on the style that is featured on “Organasm”. Well, the music is very hard to describe accurately. It is somewhere between having the clean guitar sound of U2 distorted, mixing Death Metal vocals and riffing with 70’s Psychedelic Rock (something a bit like PINK FLOYD) and the end result coming up with some very science fiction sounding melodies and feel. Hell, the best way to describe the feeling on this album is that you are witnessing first hand nature’s evolution, with the fauna and flora evolving, mutating or being extinct. The album has a very organic feel to it. This isn’t an album you put on if you just want to have a good time or to just “chill out”. This is something you listen to if you want to be taken away and go on a trip. It’s an album for the type of people that just like to sit down in a corner and just try to grasp every single last detail. The album is very layered and subtle in its execution. Nothing hits you head on, but everything just seeps into you and grabs a hold of you.
Listen to the sampled track, “First Contact”. It is basically the gist of their style and a better indication of their sound than what I tried to describe. This album (and its predecessor) is a very unique approach to Metal and it’s fresh to hear bands being more concerned about writing something different than just following in the footsteps of their predecessors.
Highest recommendation. (Online September 27, 2005)