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Alchemist - Lunasphere CD (album) cover

LUNASPHERE

Alchemist

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.28 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

bonestorm
4 stars Alchemist are an important and influential figure in the Australian prog metal scene. Thus it was a surprise to me that this excellent album, "Lunasphere" has only seen one review on PA. It's worthy of more attention than that.

I'll state up front that I'm more drawn to the melodic and atmospheric side of Alchemist, but their heavier elements are also very good. These guys are wonderful musicians, make no mistake about it. On "Lunsasphere" there's a great blend of simple melodies, more complex arrangements and an overall sense of spirituality in both lyric and music that are the hallmarks of this band.

After a brutal opening, the first track "Soul Return" transitions to one of those brilliant atmospheric sections mid way through. There's great layering of guitar, bass and synth-like sounds before things ramp up again for an up tempo outro.

A couple of my favourite tracks come in the latter half of the album. "Yoni Kunda" opens with another trait that's very pervasive in Alchemists' music - an eastern flavoured guitar riff. It's instantly memorable and catchy. There's a wonderful sense of momentum about this song as it revolves around that opening riff for the five minute duration. With subtle variations the song stays fresh throughout.

"Garden of Eroticism" starts with an unusual use of percussion and is once again beautifully layered as the other instruments join in. Roy Torkington is in full flight on guitar in this track and its a wonderful thing to behold. In the latter half the spacey atmospherics return and Adam Agius' vocals provide a harsh counterpoint to this dreamy soundscape. He also throws in an unbelievable heavy metal scream to top it off.

Production values are ok, but not brilliant. I would have loved to have seen what these guys could do on a bigger budget for the album. As it stands there's a great raw feeling to "Lunasphere", and having seen them live a couple of times touring for this album in the mid-90s, I can attest that it translates very well to a live performance.

For those new to Alchemist, I would suggest starting with those feature tracks "Yoni Kunda" and "Garden of Eroticism". I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.

bonestorm | 4/5 |

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