Alchemist - Tripsis

3 years in the making and 4 years following their predecessor, ALCHEMIST from Australia return with “Tripsis”, once again whirling in effects “still searching for that illusive cool sound” (quote: band website), while concurrently mind-boggling all us mortals into their different universe.

Given that foregoer “Austral Alien” broke more ground via challenging ALCHEMIST’S sound itself by introducing/changing more than a thing or two, ALCHEMIST’s return on “Tripsis” is simpler (by ALCHEMIST terms) yet nothing that fails short, still bringing across so many a fresh musical palette, especially in the production helm.

First off is the return of Andy’s screams, particularly captivating on “Tongues and Knives” which feels like an H.R. Giger picture has been connected via USB to an arena PA and let loose to express itself. The tension is something so intense that one begs to be in the very same connection cables!!!

Such fervencies are what makes “Tripsis”, like the clean vocals that bring “Grasp To Air” to its end, like the double bass tech-perfect drumming all through “Anticipation of a High”, like the mid-song outbreak of “God Shaped Hole” that after a whole album grasps you one last time before you enter a black hole of no return.

As customary with this Aussie pack, the two guitarists in the band exist for a purpose, that very purpose that makes the ALCHEMIST sound so dimensional, as may be easily heard by listening to “Tripsis” over the headphones where the guitars interchange from speaker to speaker as a surfer taking on the waves, all this enhanced by a once again champion production throwing processed sound nuances and solid drum beats that cherishes you or beats the living shit out of you, according to what the song demands.

With hardly ever a time on the album including what one could define as “a riff” (as in the metal type of riff), yet so zealously heavy, ALCHEMIST produce psychedelic metal only they are the secured craftsmen of. The RUSH of metal? Definitely!!! ALCHEMIST are back. See them on the road across Holland, Belgium, Germany and Denmark (including headlining the festival Prog-Power Europe) and get ready to be tripped (or let us say psychedelically cuddled) by “Tripsis” and the rest of their unique repertoire.

1. Wrapped In Guilt
2. Tongues And Knives
3. Nothing in No Time
4. Anticipation Of A High
5. Grasp At Air
6. CommunicHate
7. Substance For Shadow
8. God Shaped Hole
9. Degenerative Breeding

Relapse Records
Reviewer: necrogool
Feb 26, 2009

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