"Organasm" (Relapse; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Alchemist is an eclectic, veteran metal band from Australia. I'm disappointed with myself for not knowing of them sooner, but Relapse Records does a great job of unearthing quality metal from all over the globe.

Alchemist's music is like a calmer, more surreal version of Mindrot. It would seem as though Alchemist is a band that relies on organic creativity to forge its musical expression, but I daresay a lot of thinking (and as an extension a lot of planning) goes into their music, not unlike Tool.

Tribal sounds have been included on metal albums in the past (just check out Sepultura's '90s efforts) and Alchemist infuse tribal drumming into their sound with effortless ease. However, aggression is still the 'rule-of-the-day' and the band's infectious sounds blast and grind their way into your conscious and subconscious.

The best part about "Organasm" is the lyrics. The lyrics are intelligent, world-wise, and sung with the right amount of desperation and anger so that their meanings comes through very clearly.

Highlights include the three songs that make up "Evolution Trilogy," the opener "Austral Spectrum," and the instrumental "Eclectic."

Alchemist is a band that took me by surprise -- I'm thankful I had the courage to pick-up "Organasm" without knowing too much about the band.

"Organasm" was produced by D.W. Norton and Alchemist.

Alchemist: Gup on sound; Adam Agius on vocals, guitar, and keyboard; Roy Torkington on guitar, John Bray on bass and keyboard, and Rodney Holder on drums. Gup contributes ?sounds' to "Organasm."

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright ? 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.