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4 stars First review for Alchemist and sorry for not making it a very good one...

Alchemist waits for 4 years and releases perhaps their most critically acclaimed album. The overall sound can best be described as "Pink Floyd meets death metal" and should be enjoyed by fans of both and also fans of original music in general. While it is maybe a small step below the more psychedelic Spiritech for me, it has to be the place to start with this underrated band. The highlights are probably the first 4 tracks and the last 3, but even the stuff in between is decent. If you want something technical, go elsewhere, and the vocals are a bit weak, but they easily make up for their weaknesses with originality and great songwriting...

Get it, you shouldn't be disappointed because it is an "Excellent addition to any prog music collection." Then grab Spiritech as well.

Report this review (#122869)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Organasm" is the 4th full-length studio album by Australian extreme metal act Alchemist. The album was released through Chatterbox (Australia), Displeased Records (Europe) and Relapse Records (U.S.) in March 2000. "Spiritech (1997)" helped gain Alchemist a name internationally and with "Organasm" that name was further strengthened even though it would be a couple of years before they would tour outside Australia. The years between "Spiritech (1997)" and "Organasm" were not only spend on writing new material and touring, but also to organize the yearly Metal for the Brain festival. An event Alchemist ran and organised (and played) from 1996 to 2006. They also released the "Eve of the War" EP in 1998.

"Spiritech (1997)" was quite the ambitious and eclectic release and "Organasm" continues down the same path. The tracks are not as long as some of the tracks on the predecessor, but this time around Alchemist have included a triology suite in "Evolution Trilogy, Part 1, 2 and 3". Stylistically the music on the album is a combination of industrial rock/metal, death/thrash metal with progressive/ethnic leanings. I usually describe Alchemistīs sound as Killing Joke gone metal, which really isnīt a fair description, but should still give the reader a general idea of how the music sounds. Alchemist excel in both heavy riffing and atmospheric sections, and overall their music is a very dynamic and varied listen.

The sound production on "Organasm" is slightly less organic than the case was on the predecessor and it has much to do with the drum sound on the album, which unfortunately features a rather artificial clean sound. I say unfortunately because I think it has an effect on how much I enjoy the album. The playing (including the drumming) is as usual on a high level, so nothing wrong in that department and the songwriting is top notch too but the drum sound does distract my listening experience.

Even though I have my reservations "Organasm" is still a high quality release by Alchemist and even though Iīd probably recommend the two albums that bookend this one, "Organasm" should not be missing from your collection if youīre a fan of the band. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#153878)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Looking at the poor reception here I feel obliged to offer another great argumentation on how great this band is and especially on this album again. We'll start with a warning. This band is really heavy so if Voivod and Opeth are too metal for you, you sure won't enjoy this. Anybody else, please stay with me and indulge me drooling over this album.

Alchemist play brutal, fast, intelligent space metal. The vocals are generally gruff but varied, with some low key chanting, Killing Joke bellowing, rough but decent death metal grunts and occasional Umma Gumma screaming. In comparison to the previous album the songs have become more concise and I must admit, a bit less diverse, with less room for extended instrumental passages or psychedelic effects. But there are no weak tracks, the guitars are beautifully layered and the very full and fat production fits their sound very well.

Each song is an epic journey through their sci-fi topic matter. You won't find catchy choruses or singalongs on the way, only densely layered atmospheres on top of irresistible grooves. The rhythm of this band is one of their most attractive features. There an unstoppable urgency in this music, almost invoking fear by its stringent command. And on subsequent albums they would shift the tempo even another gear further up!

Report this review (#237697)
Posted Sunday, September 6, 2009 | Review Permalink

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