Review: Alchemist

(Relapse Records)

Alchemist kicks off their album sounding like Godflesh run through a standard nineteen sixties’ PsychedelicizerTM. What the PsychedelicizerTM does is add surreal space age keyboards, sitars, random East Indian influences, didgeridoo and other sparkling crystal sounds. In the case of Alchemist, I say long live the PsychedelicizerTM! This band plays super cool heavy metal music that creates a stunning aural mood. It’s music that allows you to sit back, relax, focus, meditate, let it all slip away and simply rock out if you are so inclined. Uneasy comparisons can be made to Canadian sci-fi metal pioneers Voivod, D.B.C., and bands of their ilk, but those comparisons are most apt in the bands innovative mood and approach to the music. They stride confidently, never hesitating, through the complex world of sound they create. If this leads them into pretty lone instrumentation or black metal moments of abandon, then so be it. I’m going to go out on a limb here and do something I don’t normally do–I’m going to give this album my official recommendation. They have sound file samples from their new album and from their previous three at That “au” at the end of their web address is for top-level domains in Australia which means to you and me that Alchemist hails from Australia, and is their most exciting import since INXS. No, I’m not fucking joking!