Alchemist - _Tripsis_
(Relapse Records, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (9.5 out of 10)
In a perfect world, Alchemist would be packing out arenas across the globe, and not as some disposable overnight sensation either. Had the planet not become increasingly acclimatised to the spoon-fed culture perpetuated by the many conveniences of modern society, Alchemist could easily have been the next big thing seven years ago, and _Tripsis_ would have been one of the most anticipated releases of 2007. Enter cold reality however, and if you're lucky enough to catch these Aussies perform anywhere outside their native country, it's likely to be as second fiddle to a band who aren't fit to lace their collective boots. Meanwhile, their sixth opus seems confined to the proverbial black cloud of releases destined to travel several inches below the radar.

Still, none of this appears to have choked the Canberra quintet's ambition in the slightest, for _Tripsis_ remains every bit as complex and gloriously multi-faceted as its predecessor. It's plenty heavy too -- more so than _Austral Alien_ ever was -- and that's not a negative at all, particularly with "Wrapped in a Guilt" opening proceedings on a distinctly stark and assured note. "Tongues & Knives" likewise opts for speed and aggression, impelled in no small measure by Rodney Holder's visceral drumming. "Nothing in No Time" follows suit, laying a foundation of pitch-perfect atmosphere before unremittingly roaring to life.

But, as with every Alchemist record, God is in the detail, and there's plenty of that on offer here. From the psychedelic tint simmering through "Anticipation of a High" through to the electrifying collision of ethnic samples, industrial rhythms and good old-fashioned heavy metal on "Grasp at Air", _Tripsis_ is a record that requires repeat listening. In fact, it demands it with the sort of effortless charisma usually reserved for genuine classics. The only question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to discover it now or in twenty years' time.


(article published 4/11/2007)

12/26/2003 J Smit Alchemist: Continuous Evolution
11/23/2003 J Smit 9 Alchemist - Austral Alien
10/25/2000 A McKay 8.5 Alchemist - Organasm
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