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THE ALCHEMIST

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Eclectic Prog

3.53 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After two disappointing studio efforts, 1973 saw the talented British quartet Home take up a much more overtly-progressive mantle and produce this finely-crafted concept album known as 'The Alchemist'. It would prove to be the group's final release, but it would also prove to be a true underground cult classic and a much-sought after album that would enable the name of Home to live on through the ages. Thanks to the excellent reissue label Esoteric Recordings, Home's defining album is finally released in all it's remastered glory for fans old and new.

Featuring Mick Stubbs(guitar, vocals), Cliff Williams(bass), Mick Cook(drums) and future Wishbone Ash member Laurie Wisefield(guitar), Home's 'The Alchemist' was a critically-acclaimed yet commercially-ignored album, the kind of album that could only have been made in the heady days of the late sixties and early-seventies when experimentation and creativity were, unbelievably, the recording industry watchword's. Home's label, CBS Records, had given the foursome all the time and space they needed to create their magnus opus but yet somehow neglected to advertise the album properly, leading to poor sales despite the group's constant live performances up-and-down the country and the small-but-loyal following these shows cultivated.

However, while the group might not have made any money out of their finest album, the did make a name for themselves amongst prog fans, with 'The Alchemist' now regarded as a stand-out concept piece thirty-plus years down the line. Stylistically, the album does, at times, invoke the feel of 'Trespass'-era Genesis or 'The Yes Album'-era Yes, but with a rich palette of instrumentation that is all their own, including acoustic-and-electric guitars, mellotrons, viola's, flutes and horns as well as Mick Stubbs soul-flecked vocals. As the songs flit from slow-and-serene folk to raucous, symphonic prog workouts, the carefuly-constructed story - that of a small boy befriending an old wizard in a small Cornish village - starts to slowly unfold.

stefro | 3/5 |

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