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23.05.2020

ALKYMIST

Sanctuary

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(Indisciplinarian, 2020)

Karakter: 4.5/6

Alkymist_Sanctuary.jpgAnd the Grammy award for the weirdest sludge/doom metal record goes to "Sanctuary", Alkymist's 2nd album after "Element" EP (2018) and eponymous LP (2018). On the guitar basis a'la Entombed's "Wolverine Blues" or any Vallenfyre's record a growling vocal a'la Nicholas John Arthur Holmes (Paradise Lost, Bloodbath) or Gregor Mackintosh (Paradise Lost, Vallenfyre) drives mid-era to present day Paradise Lost-ic doom with a sludgy edge, creating very simple yet very catchy vocal hooks (Draugr) but that's just a part of the weirdness, for, too, Peter "Bjørneg" Jørgensen croons akin to Megadeth's David Scott Mustaine at his most depressed and ballad-ic, on one hand, and the German disco/pop musician, songwriter and producer Dieter Bohlen (Modern Talking, Blue System), on the other, delicate acoustic music, then, matching the despair.

This approach sometimes works - such as on the aforementioned excellent "Draugr", Stefan "De Stefano" Krey's leads rich with a Depeche Mode-ic atmosphere while his rhythms, driven by Kaspar Luke's bass and Philip Morthorst's drums, sounding like distorted Guns'N'Roses' debut album "Appetite For Destruction" - or works fabulously - such as on the favorite "The Dead", a bluessy-thrashy riffing alternating for acoustic guitars and atmospheric leads which seriously sound like keyboards, with seriously creepy vocals - but most of the time it's just very good with looming potential for excellence - as in the apocalyptic depressing "Desolated Sky" where Bjørneg's growls are so intelligible I can easily make up the "some say the world will drown in tears/some say the world will never die/some say the spirits have disappeared into the sky" with copious amounts of that creepy Mustaine/Bohlen croon which, admittedly, does work the heartstrings, unlike Blue System songs - or the Type'O'Negative riffing and Daylight Dies-like lead melodies of "Astral Haze" with the aforementioned croon also aplenty. Finally, in all these cases, Pink Floyd-ian leads are a very pleasant touch which greatly enhances the music.

Now, I'm not sure whether or not we really needed 3/8 instrumentals (S.O.Y., Gust of War, Warkeeper) (even if S.O.Y. does have some vocals in it) as I would have simply made them part of other tracks. Also, I'm not sure, given its structure, if "Astral Haze" really needed to be over 9 minutes long as I could have easily made it into half that length for the same impact.

"Sanctuary" is very good, relaxing, often disturbing, fiercely original music, despite obvious influences and few shortcomings. I recommend it to those who seek a different approach to doom and sludge as well as fans of highly emotional metal.

https://alkymist.bandcamp.com/


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25.05.2020: FIREWIND - Firewind
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