Here we have the latest extreme metal supergroup, who are calling themselves Alkaloid, featuring the always busy Christian Muenzner (Spawn of Possession, ex-Obscura, ex-Necrophagist) on guitar, Morean (Dark Fortress, Noneuclid) on vocals & guitar, Danny Tunker (Aborted, ex-God Dethroned) on guitar, Linus Klausenitzer (Obscura, Noneuclid) on bass, and Hannes Grossman (Blotted Science, ex-Obscura, ex-Necrophagist) on drums. From a technical standpoint, these guys have been or are involved with some of the most progressive death metal acts on the scene, so their pedigree for a project like Alkaloid already goes without question. However, the band have decided to veer down some different avenues here on their debut, making The Malkuth Grimoire quite the intriguing listening experience.
If you are expecting non stop blasting, brutal riffing and venomous growls, you do get that in spots, but The Malkuth Grimoire is more about the band trying to create some serious art rather than bludgeon the listener to death. Progressive rock and jazz elements are used to great effect on openers "Carbon Phrases" and "From a Hadron Machinist", the latter a 9-minute opus that juggles technical death metal with loads of atmosphere and well constructed guitar patterns. Morean's growls are very easy to understand, his menacing tone cuts through the bone crunching riffs of "Cthulhu" as dizzy lead guitar lines fly about the mix. Those who love the intense, technical death metal of the main bands these guys play in will dig "Alter Magnitudes", a jaw dropping exercise in complex extreme metal, while the pure prog of "Orgonism" offers up dueling clean & growling vocals amid some truly gorgeous musical passages. The four part "Dyson Sphere" of course will be of most interest to progressive metal fans, as this lengthy suite takes the listener through many twists and turns, the complex guitar arrangements and brooding atmosphere very well constructed, and Morean's array of vocal styles really does a great job in telling the tale. The title track is pure, old school Florida styled death metal, and man does it pack a punch, with some of the most lethal riffing on the album and evil growls, while the epic 12 minute closer "Funeral for a Continent" throws a boatload of melody into a proggy framework, reminding at times of classic Opeth.
Impressive on so many levels, The Malkuth Grimoire comes across more like a band who have been together for years as opposed to a bunch of good friends who decided to put their talents together and make a record. The skill level here is incredible, the compositions are technical but artfully done, the guitar work off the charts, and the vocals outstanding, all reasons why you should immediately seek this one out at all costs.
- Carbon Phrases
- From a Hadron Machinist
- Alter Magnitudes
- Dyson Sphere - I.Mining the Oorth Cloud
- Dyson Sphere - II.Assembly
- Dyson Sphere - III.Kardashev 2.1 The God Oven
- Dyson Sphere - IV.Sol Omega
- The Malkuth Grimoire
- C-Value Enigma
- Funeral For a Continent