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Alchemy X
A Delicate Balance
January 2002
Released: 1999, Plastic Giraffe Productions
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: CrashTest

OK, so why the hell am I reviewing a CD that is two years old? Two reasons: First, I am running short on CDs to cover and second, I would bet most people out there have never heard of this band. So, to paraphrase an ad from a major American TV network, “if you haven’t heard it, it’s new to you!”

I picked up this CD more than a year ago after reading about them on one of the many metal websites out there, none of which live up to the brand name “METAL RULES” I might add! Alchemy X are a five-piece prog metal band haling from the USA. Its not real common for a prog band to feature a twin-axe lineup, but this one does. The result is a heavier and more guitar-oriented sound than can be found in much of the prog metal out there today. The drums are handled admirably by Chris Scorsese and in the tradition of prog metal playing styles mastered by guys like Peart and Portnoy. The voice of Martin Morin is strong, following in the footsteps of other prog metal vocalists who like to hang out just above the middle registers. I like prog vocalists to have some attitude and some growl, and Morin does bring that. I have read that he has been replaced though, so his reign was short-lived. There are quite a few prog influences that make up the band’s sound -- Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning come to mind. Hell, there’s even a bit of Maiden influence in Alchemy X, as “The Sands of Time” has an intro that would feel right at home on SOMEWHERE IN TIME. The strongest tracks on the album are “Alchemy” and “Requiem By Moonlight”, but the disc has nothing that would cause you to press the forward button and skip to the next track.

There are a ton of prog metal bands in the world today, so it doesn’t help that the guys chose to put an X at the end of their name like the other half dozen prog metal Xers out there. Yet, this CD is growing on me and I look forward to seeing what these guys will bring to the table on their next offering, reportedly due out in the Spring of 2002. Check out the webiste, which may be the only place where you can pick up the CD.

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» A Delicate Balance
by CrashTest

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