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Alchemist: Embryonics 90-98

Australia's Alchemist are one of the most unique bands you will ever hear. At their core, these guys are essentially a metal band, but they also throw plenty of psychedelic space rock, prog, and ambient curveballs at the lister, which keeps you guessing at just about every moment. Relapse Records has put together this thorough collection of 28 studio and live tracks covering the bands output from 1990 to 1998 (many of their older albums are hard to find), so you get 2CD's worth of eclectic and entertaining avant-metal for your money.

As for the type of metal these Australian's play, it's mostly a death/thrash hybrid, complete with growling & clean vocals, crushing guitar riffs, jangly, often technical lead breaks, blipping and bleeping keyboard soundscapes, and maniacal rhythms. There's an abundance of music here across this set, and many of the tracks somewhat on the lengthy side, like the Pink Floyd-meets-Faith No More-meets-Meshuggah mayhem of "Chinese Whispers", which clocks in at just under 10-minutes, but most are in the 4-9-minute range. Prog fans who don't mind a little extreme metal in their music will love all the noodling and sounscapes Alchemist create with guitars and keyboards-really, if Pink Floyd had gone full blown space thrash metal, this might have been what they would have sounded like. The band is made up of Adam Agius on vocals/guitar/keyboards, Roy Torrington on guitar, John Bray on bass, and Rodney Holder on drums. The songs on this collection are culled from their early demos and the first four official releases, Jar of Kingdom, Lunasphere, Spiritech, and Eve of the War.

The packed booklet contains plenty of live photos as well as detailed information from the band about each song, making for an interesting read while you are listening along to the punishing yet spacey music. If you are new to Alchemist, this will be a good introduction to the earlier part of their career, before they recorded their most recent releases Organasm and Austral Alien. Definitely a unique and thought provoking listening experience.

Track Listing
CD 1

  1. Chinese Whispers
  2. Abstraction
  3. Unfocused
  4. Enhancing Enigma
  5. Dancing To Life
  6. Brumal
  7. Lunation
  8. Staying Conscious
  9. Shell
  10. Garden Of Eroticism
  11. Jar Of Kingdom
  12. Paisley Bieurr
  13. Yoni Kunda (Live)
  14. Closed Chapter (Live)

CD 2
  1. Eve Of The War
  2. Beyond Genesis
  3. Yoni Kunda
  4. Purple
  5. Imagination Flower
  6. Spiritechnology
  7. Soul Return
  8. Road To Ubar
  9. Found
  10. Clot
  11. Worlds Within Worlds
  12. My Animated Truth
  13. Closed Chapter
  14. Chinese Whispers (Live)

Added: June 22nd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Alchemist Website
Hits: 2409
Language: english

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