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Alchemist - Austral Alien CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.59 | 17 ratings

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4 stars "Austral Alien" is the 5th full-length studio album by Australian metal act Alchemist. The album was released through Chatterbox Records in Australia and through Relapse Records worldwide in June 2003. Alchemist was founded in 1987 and have long been one of the most prolific acts on the Australian extreme metal scene. Itīs been 3 years since the release of "Organasm (2000)", but there were also 3 years between "Organasm (2000)" and "Spiritech (1997)", so thatīs a regular release cycle for the band. Alchemist was never a band to release a new album every year, which among other things was probably due to the fact that they ran and organized the yearly "Metal for the Brain" festival from 1996 to 2006.

Thereīs been a clear development in Alchemistīs sound over the years from an innovative death/thrash metal style towards an alternative/progressive metal style, which is what they play on "Austral Alien". There are still aggressive raw vocals and heavy distorted riffs featured on the album (which slightly remind me of 90s Prong and Sepultura), and you are never in doubt that this is a metal album (tracks like "First Contact", "Backwards Journey" and "Epsilon" are all pretty heavy business), but on the other hand there are whole tracks and whole sections in other tracks that donīt feature that many metal elements (tracks like "Solarburn" and "Speed of Life" are examples of that). Instead there is an obvious Killing Joke influence in the music that is quite dominant. Thereīs also a psychadelic atmosphere about "Austral Alien", which is another spice to the overall sound of the album.

In addition to bass, guitars, drums and vocals (raw and clean), the music also features layers of atmospheric keyboards and samples (check out the didgeridoo samples on "Great Southern Wasteland"). The musicianship are on a high level from all involved and some of the assets are the percussive ("tribal") approach to drumming, the many different lead guitar effects and melodies, and Adam Agius skilled and commanding vocal performance. "Austral Alien" also features a powerful, clear, and professional sounding production, which suits the music perfectly, so all in all itīs a high quality release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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