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JAR OF KINGDOM

Alchemist

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Alchemist Jar of Kingdom album cover
3.20 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Abstraction
2. Shell
3. Purple
4. Jar of Kingdom
5. Wandering and Wondering
6. Found
7. Enhancing Enigma
8. Whale
9. Brumal: A View from Pluto
10. Worlds Within Worlds


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Adam Agius / vocals,guitars
- Roy Torkington / guitars
- John Bray / bass
- Rodney Holder / drums,percussion

Guest Musicians

- Michele Klemke / vocals on "Found"

Releases information

CD Lethal (1993)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
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ALCHEMIST Jar of Kingdom ratings distribution


3.20
(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (50%)
50%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ALCHEMIST Jar of Kingdom reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Jar of Kingdom" is the debut studio album from Australian progressive extreme metal act Alchemist. The album was originally released through the Lethal label in 1993. "Jar of Kingdom" was re-released through the Thrust label in 1999 in order for Alchemist to be released from their contract with Thrust and seek an international label deal instead. Until then their music had solely been available in Australia. The re-release includes Alchemistīs 1991 demo.

The original album is a pretty raw progressive death metal affair. Certainly experimental but not neccessarely enjoyable or high quality the whole time. One thing I have always been a fan of when talking about Alchemist is the raw vocal delivery by frontman and guitarist Adam Agius. Thereīs a man who sings/semi-growls like he means it. Really aggressive approach to singing right there. The music features some psychadelic parts that help make the album a bit more interesting and those moments are mostly created by Roy Torkingtonīs lead guitar effects. He is a really inventive guitarist. If you want an example of how varied some tracks on Jar of Kingdom are just listen to the third track on the album titled "Purple".

The musicianship are pretty strong too but the sound production drags the album down. Itīs a bit muddy and lacks power. Itīs too bad because both the musicianship and the songwriting are on a decent level, so objectively seen "Jar of Kingdom" is in some ways an interesting first release from Alchemist. On a personal level I canīt say that the music on the album really interests me much though. There are moments here and there where Iīm thinking that this is a really good album but soon after comes a section where Iīm not very impressed so the best word to describe the album would probably be inconsistent. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) star rating is fair.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#194577) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 21, 2008

Review by JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The debut album from Aussie prog metal band Alchemist.

I say prog metal because while there is heaviness, intensity and growls o plenty, musically this is far outside anything in the realm of death metal. Death, Atheist, Cynic even Edge of Sanity never created such an out there product.

"Jar of Kingdom" is a blend of death metal influenced prog metal and psychedelia. There is also some very noticeable Eastern influence. It is an intriguing and ambitious effort that doesn't seem fully developed on this album. While I applaud the effort, (and am glad to know I'm not alone in thinking you can like extreme metal and Pink Floyd)it is just not fully "there" yet. The album is a bit inconsistent, and while Adam Agius' vocals aren't the worst by any means, I'm not really a fan. His shrill growls are actually a lot more energetic than the standard, but also can be as laughable at times. Not a turn off, but not the best.

Musically, the songs have very progressive structures that can range from blast beat death metal to spaced out, Pink Floyd style movements. The music can stop and start on a dime, usually with wild shifts in tempo and style. The guitar work features both heavy, death metal and psychedelic, trippy styles, often at the same time.

The guitar work and song structures are easily the strongest thing on this album, unique and unorthodox are the only ways to put it. As well as awesome. The drumming is fitting and more than servicable.

Just for a change of pace, songs like "Found" are mellow and feature female vocals, and "Whale" is an acoustic piece with some type of tribal drumming, xylophones (or synths) and the sounds of whales.

Some standout songs are "Abstraction" (with its relaxing and brutal movements and sweet psychedelic melodies) "Shell" featuring surprisingly nice melodies, and "Brumal-A View From Pluto" which has one of the best openings I've ever heard and is a particularly brutal and usual piece. I love the surf rock riff over blast beats and distorted mess of tremolo picking.

The finale "Worlds Within Worlds" is a true musical journey, which features some of the best melodies and writing on the album. While some other songs can suffer from a lack of cohesiveness, this one works perfectly for most of it, and is really one of the more unique things I've ever heard. Where else can you feel like relaxing in a Middle Eastern palace and headbanging in a doom metal show??

Very interesting album that makes me feel ashamed I never herd of this band until 2011. What Alchemist tried to do on this album is not easy, and indeed it sounds a bit chaotic at times. Not organized chaos though, more like 2 buses carrying a death metal and psychedelic rock band collided. Sometimes awkward but it also works and the musicianship and songwriting skills here are impressive.

Good, but not great, album that leaves you wanting a bit more. Recommended listen for fans of prog metal (that have some taste for the extreme) and if not, probably best to avoid this unique album.

Three Stars

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Send comments to JJLehto (BETA) | Report this review (#587168) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 12, 2011

Latest members reviews

4 stars Back in 1993, the Death-Metal little world entered in a conflict, a civil war between keepers of the original brutality and some more delicate musicians willing to explore further dimensions than the 1-2-3-4 / Goooore!. Pestilence, Cynic, Atheist or even Death begged to differ and claim taking th ... (read more)

Report this review (#184609) | Posted by CPicard | Friday, October 03, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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