Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alchemist Austral Alien album cover
3.65 | 21 ratings | 3 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. First Contact (3:08)
2. Great Southern Wasteland (4:13)
3. Solarburn (3:51)
4. Alpha Cappella Nova Vega (4:33)
5. Older Than the Ancients (4:42)
6. Backward Journey (4:24)
7. Nature on a Leash (4:03)
8. Grief Barrier (3:34)
9. Epsilon (3:55)
10. Speed of Life (4:07)
11. Letter to the Future (5:52)

Total Time 44:22

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Artwork: Roy Torkington

CD Chatterbox Records - CB030 (2003, Australia)

Digital album

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ALCHEMIST Austral Alien Music

More places to buy ALCHEMIST music online

ALCHEMIST Austral Alien ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ALCHEMIST Austral Alien reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Alchemist is a metal band that mixes influences from industrial metal scene (alternance of clear and harsh vocals on some tracks, in the vein of Fear Factory, vocals reminiscent of Pitch Shifter's earlier efforts), Killing Joke at the time of 'Extremities, dirt and various repressed emotions' (the vocalist is also clearly influenced by Jaz Coleman), and stoner rock in the style of Queens of the Stone Age. I f we dig deeper, we can also find some cold-wave influences (Siouxsie and the Banshees or the more recent Editors). The music deals with harsh vocals (Killing Joke-type) alterned with clear vocals, excellent overall drumming without overabundance of time changes but with enough diversity to keep the listener interested. Keyboards are also present to support the sci-fi themes of the songs. Overall, this is a good album but 3 stars seems to be the most appropriate rating as this is not a prog album per se.
Review by Bonnek
4 stars Next chapter on the speedway to the galaxy. Austal Alian is another enjoyable album from Alchemist. Due to the focus on tight playing and fast riotous rhythms, the album has a slightly more industrial feel then its predecessors. But as the songs are strong as ever and the vocals keep their distinctive diversity, there's still enough to please a metal endorsing prog fan here. Alpha Cappella Nova Vega is the high point and might even serve as a perfect introduction to this band. With its fine echo laden guitar strumming, hypnotizing mantra and steadily building crescendo, the song is immediately accessible. The remainder of the album is right up to the same height but might take you a bit more time to digest.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of ALCHEMIST "Austral Alien"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.