Linus Klausenitzer is Alkaloid’s powerful bassist and on October 6th last year the man decided to release his solo album Tulpa²⁰²³ via AOP Records. To succeed in this endeavor he had asked many renown contributors to take part in it, among whom are Juggernaut’s Javier Perera Martin on vocals, Vanesa Jalife on piano, Hannes Grossman on drums and producing as well as several session guitarists including Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween), Victor “Santura” Bullok (Tiptykon, Linus’ bandmate in Noneuclid), Aaron Keay Homma (Annihilator), Fabian “Dee” Dammers (U.D.O.) Sorreption’s Ian “Waye” Briffett and Philippe Allaire-Tougas (First Fragment), Visions Of Atlantis’ Christian Hermsdörfer and Gorod’s Nicolas Alberny. With so much talent on one album we can either get something really good or something totally confused and incoherent. Thankfully, Tulpa²⁰²³, while not perfect, is a very good album of melodic progressive death metal with some serious groove and subtle nods to metalcore.

The album starts out fantastic, the perfect “King Of Hearts” recalling the acoustics of early In Flames and then getting properly melodeathly with a cold production reminiscent of God Forbid’s criminally overlooked Determination²⁰⁰¹ and with an excellent double melodic chorus bolstered by acoustic layer, a trick evocative of Death’s “Crystal Mountain”, all courtesy of the excellent Homma/ Grapow interplay. “Our Soul Sets Sail” is another standout, debuting Javier Martin’s semi-clean vocals somewhat reminiscent of In Flame’s Anders Fridén (heck, he even sings “in flames” likely on purpose) the guitars handled by Waye who comes up with some original Panteric groove. He also provides his skills for the excellent “Queen Of Hearts”, which seems to be a counterpoint to the opener and where Linus shows off his 80s keyboarding skills. It’s just as important to close the album well as to open it so “Lunar Assailant” (In Flames much?) is another standout strongly recalling Trivium’s Ascendancy²⁰⁰⁵ and latter Death.

The rest of the tracks are very good but for one in particular, “Sword Swallower”, where groove and thickness laid down by Santura recall God Forbid’s Earthsblood²⁰⁰⁹, nevertheless doesn’t quite grab me as much as the other tracks, and then, per one of my usual complaints, the instrumental “Sister In Black” screams for vocals due to its structure and over 4 minute length, but, overall, the debut album from Alkaloid’s bassist is an interesting affair and a definite success bolstered by the insightful lyrical concept inspired by German writer Emil Besetzny’s “Die Sphinx” (The Sphinx) and, of course, Linus’ fantastic bass lines, keyboard layers as well as Hannes Grossman’s excellent drums and well-balanced production and, for these reasons, you should check it out and it’s especially recommended for Gothenburg Three fans.

Leave a Reply