Alkemyst are a criminally underrated French Power Metal/Progrock band, often overlooked by print mags and webzines. On first release in 2003, 'Meeting In The Mist'
sneaked in under the radar of most industry observers.
Deservedly then, Metal Mind have reissued the album, with three bonus tracks - two live and a Radio Edit of standout title track.
The demons and wizards artwork and the cackling intro track, 'Spells And Elixirs'
might have you running for cover, but stay with it. Next up, the operatically inclined 'Still Alive'
, motoring along with metronomic precision and an athlete's speed and grace, will better introduce you to the band's likeable Dream Theater/Kamelot pretensions.
They aren't quite as intense as fellow Frenchmen, Manigance, but are just as talented and ambitious. 'It's Time'
and 'Up To Heaven's Gate'
follow in the footsteps of 'Still Alive'
, lacing the music's more reflective moments with bombastic cues, to accompany the more explosive passages.'Hold On To Your Dreams'
and the title track, the band's magnum opus, 'Meeting In The Mist'
maintain the album's relentless forward momentum, minimising time changes, maximising the band's musical dexterity, melodic flair and ear for an epic arrangement.
Production is clear and crisp, yet radiates warmth. The busy, powerdriven rhythms never sound cluttered, the guitars blaze when they have to, and are simply energetic when they don't.
Even before we get to the 'Nameless Son'
trilogy of tracks, a complex series of songs, full of the classical and the exotic, it's clear that the album's uncompromising style, sound and content, bridging between power metal and progrock, show the band at the peak of their creative power.
As with all their current reissues, Metal Mind have re-released this one in digipack format, digitally remastered, on a gold disc, limited to 2000 pressings. Great value indeed.
Written by Brian
Monday, October 26, 2009Show all reviews by BrianRatingsBrian: 8/10
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