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ANGRA Secret Garden

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.82 | 5 ratings
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DippoMagoo
Despite being a very major band in their country, and really melodic metal in general, Brazilian group Angra has never been one of my favorites. I’ve always enjoyed their music, but aside from their masterpiece Temple of Shadows, I tend to like them but not love them. So when their newest incarnation was revealed, with a new drummer and vocalist, I was neither overly excited nor upset, instead just interested to see how much their sound would change, and whether or not they could come close to matching their one truly great album. Well, their 8th full length release Secret Garden is now here, and as usual with Angra, I enjoy the album, but still find myself thinking it could have been better.

Angra fans tend to be divided into two camps: Those who prefer their early releases, led by vocalist Andre Matos (Angels Cry and Holy Land are especially popular among these fans), and those who prefer their later albums, with Edu Falaschi. There are some who like both, but in general I find there to be somewhat of a divide between fans of either singer. As stated above, I can’t claim to be the biggest fan of either era, though technically I fall closer in line with the latter, in part due to my dislike of their first two albums, and because Temple of Shadows happens to be the second album from the Falaschi era.

As expected, Secret Garden is more in line with their later albums, especially their previous album Aqua, but if anything it goes even further with the more progressive direction, and for the most part their power metal elements have been left behind. This results in a surprisingly restrained and laid back album, with barely any heavy parts in the entire back half. The first half is mostly dominated by mid tempo melodic metal tracks with strong prog leanings, while the second half gives way to a whole lot of balladry, and while the songs are generally enjoyable, I find having so many of these songs thrown together causes a severe lack of energy. While I would have preferred more speed throughout, I enjoy the first half quite a bit, as new drummer Bruno Valverde does a great job during the more offbeat portions, and he also mixes in some of that unique Brilliance percussion found on most Angra albums, using it effectively on songs like “Newborn Me” and “Final Light”, plus I have to admit the musicianship is great all around, especially during the more progressive songs, which have some excellent instrumental portions. The middle portion of “Newborn Me” is especially good.

I found Edu Falaschi’s departure from the band somewhat refreshing, in that it seemed to have been completely his decision (he noted that his upper register wasn’t the same anymore, so he no longer felt comfortable singing some of their back catalogue,) but regardless, he had become an important part of the band over the years, and so replacing him was going to be difficult. Amazingly, the band managed to pull a fast one by bringing in none other than the always reliable (and extremely busy) Fabio Lione, a move that immeidately made me at least somewhat optimistic for the album. As expected, Fabio sounds great, though his vocals are largely dialed back compared to normal, showcasing more of his lower register. Of course, on the two speedier tracks he shows that he’s still one of the best power metal singers in the world. He’s far from being alone, though, as this album features guest appearances from Simone Simons and Doro Pesch, along with several vocal contributions from guitarist Rafael Bittencourt.

Album opener “Newborn Me” is one of the highlights, for sure, as mentioned above. It features great instrumental work, and also proves that Fabio Lione fits in great with the band. He sounds even better on the melodic, keyboard driven “Storm of Emotions”. My two favorite songs are unsurprisingly the two speedier, more power metal oriented tracks “Black Hearted Soul” and “Perfect Symmetry”, with the latter in particular being simply fantastic, and providing a nice change of pace during the at times dull and plodding second half of the album. The more complex, progressive track “Upper Levels” is a bit inconsistent, but it has enough memorable parts to make it enjoyable, and the percussion is particularly effective. One final highlight is the title track, a really nice ballad sung entirely by Simone Simons, who does an amazing job as always. Some editions of the album also feature a cover version of “Synchronicity II” by The Police, which is a surprisingly fun take on the song, giving it more of a modern sound white still staying fairly close to the original.

There’s really only one song I don’t like, and that is the duet “Crushing Room”. I like Rafael’s vocals on all the other tracks where he appears, but on this one I find he slightly over sings, which makes the already cheesy chorus sound even worse, and for some reason Doro’s voice sounds kinda awkward to me and just doesn’t seem to fit the song too well. This is likely a personal preference, but either way I simply don’t like the song much at all. Other slower tracks like “Final Light”,“Violet Sky” and the closer “Silent Call” are nice but not particularly memorable.

I’d say those last few words would make an accurate description for Secret Garden on the whole: It’s a solid album with excellent performances all around, flawless production and some great melodies, but aside from a few standout tracks, the songwriting is just not strong enough for it to be considered anything more than nice, but not particularly memorable. Existing Angra fans are sure to like at least some of it, though I suspect most will still prefer either the Matos albums or the Falaschi albums. As for me, I like this more than any of the Matos albums and I’d place it somewhere in the middle of the Falaschi albums, maybe slightly ahead of Aurora Consurgens, and behind Aqua, with Temple of Shadows still far ahead (I actually haven’t listened to Rebirth, yet.). For the record, I do prefer Lione over either of their previous singers, so I do hope he stays around, and that the band can do better work with him in the future.

(originally written for myglobalmind: http://myglobalmind.com/2015/05/26/angra-secret-garden-review/)

MARILYN MANSON The Pale Emperor

Album · 2015 · Industrial Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 1 rating
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Unitron
Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

'The Pale Emperor' is the tenth studio album by industrial metal artist Marilyn Manson released on original Playstation discs. I have to say, I'm not a big fan of Marilyn Manson. I do like songs from his 'Antichrist Superstar' album, but I've just never really been fond of his overplayed shock rock approach. I don't really care if a band wants to visually shock it's listeners, but sometimes it can get overused and just become an annoyance. 'The Pale Emperor', however, shows Manson really move away from his previous style.

By move away from his previous style, I mean adding a strong blues element to a Nine Inch Nails-esque industrial metal style. This is emphasized in the opening track 'Killing Strangers', which begins with an industrial stomping beat mixed with some bluesy guitar. Manson's voice here sounds kind of like a bluesy Jonathan Davis of Korn, and it really fits with the industrial/blues combination. The guitar soon gets both heavier and more melodic, and Manson's vocals of 'Hello?' are really powerful and fit well with the sound of the section. Towards the end, the guitar reminds me a little bit of Crossfade. The next song, 'Deep Six', is probably my favorite from the album. It begins with a menacing bass-line before the crushing guitar comes in. There's not much else I can say about this song, just a really kick-ass industrial metal song.

Besides industrial and blues, there are other styles mixed in as heard in the Deadmau5-esque ambient beginning of 'Warship My Wreck'. The entrance of the heavy guitar is conducted perfectly, mixing with the atmospheric electronics beautifully. This song just perfectly combines heavy and soft, probably my second favorite song on the album. 'Slave Only Dreams to be King' is a more grooving song, with an electronic stomp to the guitars and drums. Another really good bluesy song on the album is 'Birds of Hell Awaiting'. While Manson's vocals reminds me a lot of Jonathan Davis, his vocals actually fit extremely well with the blues-twinged sound. I said with this album, Manson was moving away from his previous shock-rock approach, and that shows in the lyrics too. The lyrics feel much more genuine and emotional then his previous lyrical themes to me.

Overall, this is what I call a pleasant surprise. While there are a couple filler tracks, I suspect I will be listening to this album quite a bit. My love of both industrial metal and blues rock probably helps my enjoyment of this, but I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for some industrial and some blues and think both would sound well together. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!

NAPALM DEATH Apex Predator - Easy Meat

Album · 2015 · Grindcore
Cover art 4.43 | 2 ratings
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UMUR
"Apex Predator - Easy Meat" is the 15th full-length studio album featuring original material by UK grindcore/death metal act Napalm Death. The album was released through Century Media Records in January 2015. Napalm Death is one of the originators of grindcore and formed back in the early 1980s. They´ve been hugely successful within their genre and although they dipped their toes in death metal territory and even in groove metal territory in the 90s, they´ve always maintained a grindcore edge. From the turn of the century and onwards, they´ve been on what can only be described as a creative roll, releasing one quality album after another, and their most recent album release before "Apex Predator - Easy Meat", titled "Utilitarian (2012)" was no different. Although the four members of Napalm Death are in their mid-fourties, there´s no dinosaur complex about them and they are as relevant now as they were starting out in the early 80s.

Never content to rest on their laurels or be satisfied with past achievements, Napalm Death has challenged themselves once again on "Apex Predator - Easy Meat", which in many ways is as surprising as it is familiar sounding. The opening title track is probably the most surprising and different sounding track on the album, with it´s repetitive industrial atmosphere, slow beats, and chanting vocals. It features an ominous mood and sets the tone nicely for the rest of the album, although it´s quite different sounding from what follows. As soon as "Smash a Small Digit" kicks in we´re treated to more regular Napalm Death trademarks like blast beats, advanced hardcore punked riffs, dissonance, and Mark "Barney" Greenway´s barking raw vocals in front. Greenway also ventures into clean vocal territory several times during the album´s playing time, but his clean vocals are never of the pop oriented/accessible kind.

The material on the album is overall of a very high quality. Adventurous, aggressive, loaded with a feeling of despair and desperation, and just very well put together. For the genre "Apex Predator - Easy Meat" is also a relatively varied release, with tracks like the above mentioned title track, the closing track "Adversarial / Copulating Snakes" and also a track like "Dear Slum Landlord…" pulling the diversity level up.

It´s all packed in a powerful, raw, and detailed sounding production, and performed by skilled musicians (drummer Danny Herrera as always deserves a special mention for his incredibly fast yet innovative playing), so all in all "Apex Predator - Easy Meat" is another strong album release by Napalm Death. To my ears it´s one of their more standout releases and if they continue with this level of creativity I think we can look forward to many more quality grindcore releases in the future. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

PRONG Ruining Lives

Album · 2014 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 3.50 | 2 ratings
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UMUR
"Ruining Lives" is the 10th full-length studio album by US groove metal act Prong. The album was released through Steamhammer Records in April 2014. The three-piece lineup on the album consists of band founder and only constant member Tommy Victor on vocals and guitars, Tony Campos (Static-X, Soulfly, Fear Factory) on bass, and Alexei Rodriguez (3 Inches of Blood, Walls of Jericho) on drums. For many years Prong was a second priority for Tommy Victor while he was working for Ministry and Danzig, but since the release of "Carved Into Stone (2012)", he has made Prong a priority again (although he is still heavily involved in Danzig).

The music on the album is a groove oriented type of metal with the occasional nods toward hardcore and post-punk. Especially Killing Joke is a clear influence on the music, and it´s definitely not a coincidence that legendary late bassist Paul Raven worked with both acts. Compared to the band´s early releases Tommy Victor sings far more clean vocals today, and he only occasionally uses his more raw voice. While there are groove oriented riffs and rhythms throughout the album, there are just as many atmospheric riffs, and at times the music is even relatively melodic.

The material is generally well written and relatively catchy although it might take a few spins before the tracks stick. It´s not a wildy innovative or adventurous release, but it´s solid and delivered with conviction. "Ruining Lives" also features a powerful and well sounding production, and all in all it´s a quality release by Prong. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

CIVIL WAR Gods and Generals

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
Cover art 5.00 | 1 rating
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DippoMagoo
When it comes to epic heavy/power metal anthems based around historical battles, one band that immediately comes to mind is Swedish group Sabaton, who by this point have mastered their own style. In 2012, four members of the band (Rikard Sundén, Oskar Montelius, Daniel Mÿhr and Daniel Mullback) left and decided to start their own band Civil War, along with bassist Stefan Eriksson and vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson. The next year their debut The Killer Angels was released, and while Nils Patrik helped add a unique flavor to the sound, and musically it was a really solid release, I found too many songs bordered on straight up imitation (“I Will Rule the Universe” in particular felt nearly indistinguishable from many mid tempo Sabaton tracks, aside from the vocals.) It was a quality debut, no doubt, but I was left hoping the band would do better next time. Now in 2015, after going through some lineup changes (including the departure of original members Oskar and Stefan, as well as the addition of guitarist Petrus Granar) they’ve returned with a revamped sound, ready to unleash their second full length release Gods and Generals. This time around I think they’ve struck the right balance between sticking close to their roots and being more creative with their songwriting, which has resulted in an early 2015 favorite of mine, and certainly a big upgrade from their debut.

As expected, Gods and Generals has a few very bombastic speedier tunes which deliver the kind of epic power metal this lineup excels at. However, many tracks are surprisingly more laid back, starting off slowly with keys, orchestras and percussion, before building up to the huge choruses and melodies fans would expect. There are still times where the guitars come through, in fact on a couple tracks the riffs get surprisingly heavy, but on the whole this album is much more dominated by vocals, keys, orchestras and even the drums at times. I find the production much cleaner on the faster songs this time around, which gives added power to those tracks, but somewhat surprisingly, it’s the slower and more melodic tracks that sound the most impressive. As with any album of this type, listeners can expect a nice balance between speedier tracks and mid tempo tracks, though this album also has a few surprisingly calm and slower songs, so there’s a pretty good variety to the songs.

As on The Killer Angels, vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson is the member who most helps to set the band apart from the rest. I always loved his dynamic vocals he displayed with Wuthering Heights over the course of three albums, but I found his work with Astral Doors to be solid but more limited. On The Killer Angels he added an extra edge to the music, which helped give the band an identity of their own even on the more familiar sounding tracks, and this time around it feels like the band has shifted their sound just a bit to help emphasize his vocals even more. The perfect example of this is “Braveheart”, a very theatrical sounding mid paced track which starts out with keys and orchestra before Nils Patrik takes over, and it’s his epic high pitched wails that help turn an already great song into an instant classic. At the same time, the softer tracks allow him to use his vastly underrated lower register, which sounds as impressive as ever on tracks like “Tears From the North” and “Admiral Over the Oceans”.

Instead of starting off with an intro track, album opener “War of the World” kicks off slowly, with keyboards and orchestras, lasting for around a minute or so, before the rest of the band kicks in and the tempo instantly picks up, turning into the fastest song on the album, as well as one of the catchiest. I like how the guitars have a more distinct sound to them, right off the bat, with more of that classic galloping guitar sound, which goes a long way towards avoiding the feel of sameyness that plagued the faster tracks on the debut. The chorus is certainly a highlight, but the epic guitar solo certainly isn’t far behind, and overall it’s one of my favorite album openers I’ve heard so far in the first half of 2015. Lead single “Bay of Pigs” keeps the momentum going. It’s a much slower, heavier track where Nils Patrik gets to really shine, especially during the chorus. Once again, though, it’s those amazing guitar melodies in the middle that help bring the song to that next level, making it another instant favorite. I already mentioned the next track, so moving on we have yet another favorite (and yeah, I guess this is the part where I should just admit most of these songs are “favorites”, I can’t help myself,) “The Mad Piper”. This is one of those the tracks where the band really surprised me by doing something just a bit different, as the bagpipes and marching drums at the start immediately give the song more of a war anthem feel, and this carries on the whole way through, with the chorus once again being spectacular, and Nils Patrik steals the show again, especially during the last minute.

Around halfway through we finally get another speedier song in “USS Monitor”, and there’s not much to say about it, except that it’s another great example of how to do epic power metal the right way. After this, the only other really fast paced song is the closing title track, which has possibly the best chorus on the album. Out of the two remaining mid tempo tracks, “Admiral Over the Oceans” is a more melodic track which again shows off the greatly improved guitar work, along with featuring a rather tongue in cheek line during the chorus (|”If you don’t understand, read the history book”), while “Back to Iwo Jima” is probably the heaviest track on the album, especially during the instrumental sections. Lastly, we have the two ballads. “Schindlers’s Ark” is a nice power ballad with great vocal melodies, an effective use of orchestras and choirs as well as obviously a great chorus, but it actually stands out as my least favorite on the album, mostly because of how superior the other ballad “Tears From the North” is. Again, the drums add more of a war anthem feel, and this combined with Nils Patrik, the orchestras, and especially the backing choirs vocals, adds up together to make for an incredibly epic metal ballad.

After hearing The Killer Angels several times, I initially considered Civil War to be a much lesser version of Sabaton. This feeling only increased further after hearing the latter band’s 2014 effort Heroes, which immediately grabbed my attention and never let go. With Gods and Generals, Civil War have proven themselves to be on an equal level, by creating an insanely addictive collection of war anthems which at times feel familiar but overall manage to add enough new elements in to make them stand out. One of my top 3 favorite early 2015 albums, and highly recommended for fans of epic heavy/power metal.

(originally written for myglobalmind: http://myglobalmind.com/2015/05/20/civil-war-gods-and-generals-review/)

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MAHOGANY RUSH Child of the Novelty

Album · 1974 · Hard Rock
Cover art 4.00 | 1 rating
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voila_la_scorie
Frank Marino and his band Mahogany Rush hit the music scene with their debut in 1972 and this is their sophomore release. Marino's Hendrix-influenced style of playing bears such a remarkable similarity to its originator that some critics accused him of being just a Hendrix clone. Others stirred up stories that the spirit of Hendrix had visited Marino or was occupying his body. Of course Marino denied all these false allegations; however, he surely didn't help when he claimed, "The style just came naturally to me. I didn't choose it. It choose me."

From the onset, it's easy to hear the Jimi Hendrix influence. Frank Marino's vocal style, song-writing style, and use of "yeah" and "ah" in "Makin' My Wave" plus his use of delay and echo effects do really make Mahogany Rush sound like a Jimi Hendrix tribute band. But if you listen more, you'll notice that the music is more charged than most of Hendrix's. Perhaps if Hendrix had endured until 1974 this is what he might have sounded like. It's not just Hendrix though. There's late seventies Uli Jon Roth here as well, sometimes sounding like "Polar Nights" or "Hell Cat" from Scorpions "Virgin Killer" album or like Electric Sun's debut "Earthquake". In particular, the title track of that album bears a strong resemblance to Mahogany Rush! And though my Stevie Ray Vaughan listening experience is limited to one album and a couple of singles, I was reminded of Vaughan as well in a few places.

It's best, I would think, to listen to the album a couple of times to get over the whole "It sounds like Jimi" thing and get into the music because this album really rocks and grooves and closer to an Uli Jon Roth kind of way more often than Jimi Hendrix kind of way. It's almost as if Jimi Henrix led to Frank Marino which led to Uli Jon Roth.

Well, I won't deny that you'll find yourself reminded of classic Hendrix songs like "I Don't Live Today", "Third Stone from the Sun", "May This Be Love", "Love or Confusion" or "Crosstown Traffic". And I do believe the title track is about Hendrix himself. "He was a child of the novelty and he took them by surprise / He worked magic, magic before their eyes." But once again, there's an intensity on this album that goes beyond mind expanding psychedelia and gets back to a more visceral approach associated both with rock and roll and hard rock.

For fans of Uli Jon Roth's late seventies output and also fans of Jimi Hendrix, I recommend checking out this album and Mahogany Rush. I'm sure after a few listens you will gain an understanding of how Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush fit in to their own unique style that is both Jimi and Uli and at the same time exactly Mahogany Rush.

PORCUPINE TREE Radio Active

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 1992 · Metal Related
Cover art 2.83 | 2 ratings
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FMOTP
I am a definite fan of Porcupine Tree. However their early material, including the first couple of albums, is the least interesting to my ears. A lot of it is just too ambient, too derivative of Pink Floyd IMO. I did enjoy this Radio Active promo, and I will give it 3 1/2 stars, although it may be hard to locate.

I believe most of this material ended up on the UP THE DOWNSTAIRS album. I wouldn't call any of these among my favorite Porcupine Tree songs, but there's enough variety on this release to hold your interest for 16 minutes. For the purpose of Metal Music Archives, this stuff just isn't very metal. As with most of what Steven Wilson has a hand in, this IS quality material.

ALCHEMIST Tripsis

Album · 2007 · Industrial Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 2 ratings
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UMUR
"Tripsis" is the 6th full-length studio album by Australian metal act Alchemist. The album was released in August 2007 through Chatterbox Records in the band´s homeland and through Relapse Records worldwide (pre-orders to Relapse Records originally included a free copy of Alchemist´s previous album, "Austral Alien (2003)"). Alchemist was founded in 1987 and have long been one of the most prolific acts on the Australian extreme metal scene.

The music on "Tripsis" has changed a bit since "Austral Alien (2003)" becoming a bit faster/more busy (especially the drumming by Rodney Holder which is really energetic on this album) and more aggressive. How the music sounds is still hard to describe, as Alchemist are generally a very eclectic sounding act, but an exotic combination of Prong (Adam Agius vocals are very similar to the way Tommy Victor sounds) and Killing Joke with a few nods towards the darkest releases by The Cure isn´t completely wrong. Take a listen to the opening minute of "Nothing in No Time" for an example of the latter influence. It reminds me of some of the guitar work on "Pornography (1982)". I guess you can call it industrial/thrash metal with a few nods towards goth rock.

The musicianship on the album is on a high level. It´s a treat how the two guitarists compliment each other with one playing distorted rhythmic riffs and the other playing less distorted and atmospheric parts. As mentioned the rhythm section is really busy on this album and they provide the music with great energy. Adam Agius might not be the most varied vocalist, but his raw barks are delivered in a convincing fashion and he actually successfully gets away with singing a couple of clean parts too. One other thing worth mentioning are the samples which are handled by Nick Wall. They are not dominant, but more used as background atmosphere enhancers and along with the use of keyboards create a "wall of sound" listening experience. Such an experience is only pleasant with a suiting sound production where you can hear what´s going on, and that´s fortunately the case with the sound production on "Tripsis", which is professional, clear, and powerful.

Overall "Tripsis" is an album that reeks class. Intriguing songwriting, excellent musicianship and a powerful sound production to boot. A 4 star (80%) rating is not a star too much.

ALCHEMIST Austral Alien

Album · 2003 · Industrial Metal
Cover art 4.18 | 6 ratings
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UMUR
"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. It´s been 3 years since the release of "Organasm (2000)", but there were also 3 years between "Organasm (2000)" and "Spiritech (1997)", so that´s 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.

There´s been a clear development in Alchemist´s 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 don´t 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. There´s 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 it´s a high quality release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

ALCHEMIST Organasm

Album · 2000 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 4 ratings
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UMUR
"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 Alchemist´s sound as Killing Joke gone metal, which really isn´t 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 I´d probably recommend the two albums that bookend this one, "Organasm" should not be missing from your collection if you´re a fan of the band. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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