Alchemist Organasm

With Organasm, Australia's Alchemist have easily created the metal experience of the year, outdoing Anathema and masters of the dramatic, Neurosis. Alchemist take the latter's penchant for long, escalating epics and scale it down a bit, adding the former's Pink Floyd vibe, a hint of Mindrot and a feel that is all their own. Each of the ten songs here breath, glow and live in a way that can only be described as organic. Beautiful melodies get carried on the strength of walls of rhythmic tom-tom pummelling, while riffs echo and drift away and vocals whisper delicately behind it all. When the tension builds and intensity hits, it becomes an obscenely heavy wall of sound, with vocalist Adam Agius letting loose with a high-pitched shriek that will send black metal kids running back home to mom and dad. However, their oppressive heaviness doesn't wear you down like other bands of the loud/quiet/loud variety, with Alchemist finding a way to bring out an ethereal vibe even in times of punishing intensity. Individual songs matter not, because it all flows together into one living, breathing mass that has the power to take the listener to a whole new dimension that until now hasn't been available in the realm of metal. The lyrics, suitably enough, deal with microbiology and environmental issues. You'd be a fool to let this one pass you by, as Alchemist have constructed a wildly important album in the history of metal here, creating a genre to which they are sole occupants of in the process. (Relapse)