Alchemist – Austral Alien

up_032204_alchemistThis bands bold combination of expansive world music and organic metal really stands alone in the fray of faceless bands, and with “Austral Alien”, Alchemist have once again created a very inspired and cosmically charged album. The synth work and other sequenced elements work really well for this band as they keep the sounds lurking just below the surface for ambiance and color. The varied vocal style ranges from passionate pitch singing to a more fiery scream to intensify the aggression of this largely mid-paced music. My only complaint with “Austral Alien”, is that it becomes too long winded and loses some of its potency as the album drags on. The same formula begins to haunt the later tracks, and even though this is a band with very few peers (the only close comparison I can draw from their music is Neurosis), my ears kept yearning to hear more tempo variation to break up the ensuing monotony. In light of the strength of Alchemist’s unique sound, this is a minor point stacked up against a full album worth of strong ideas and emotion, which is often overlooked in the realm of modern metal music. Good stuff. -Marty

~ by martyworm on January 2, 2009.

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