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Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire (Reissue)

The Malkuth Grimoire (Reissue)
by Lauren Fonto at 07 February 2018, 8:29 AM

“The Malkuth Grimoire” is the reissue of the 2015 self-released album of the same name. The band was founded by Hannes Grossmann (OBSCURA, BLOTTED SCIENCE, NECROPHAGIST), alongside vocalist/guitarist Morean (NONEUCLID).“From a Hadron Machinist” is an early highlight on the album, with perfectly harmonized riffs and a smooth transition from the acoustic intro to blast beats and layered melodies. The clean vocal harmonies are done really well, too. Sludgy riffs make for an interesting contrast with the acoustic guitar parts. Sometimes the tracks go on a little too long, such as “Funeral for a Continent”. That’s a minor quibble however, since overall the album has a great balance between the somewhat whimsical meanderings of progressive metal and the toughness of death metal. Also, “Funeral for a Continent” has some stellar guitar solo work in the coda.

“Orgonism” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, with its chilled-out first half. Morean’s vocals over the jazzy, slow section are quite distinctive, and instantly reminded me of his vocal work for DARK FORTRESS circa “Ylem”. The guitar solo flows like water over rocks. Soft piano notes lead to an unexpected heavier section, which keeps the track from becoming stale. The epic track “Dyson Sphere” kicks off with intriguing lyrics about mining the Oort Cloud. The whole Dyson Sphere saga is fascinating, so the clear diction in the guttural vocals is a definite bonus in this case. The track begins with a doom metal vibe, and creepy organs, and the creative drum fills and staccato riffs lead into the second part. Things take on an air of suspense here, with on-edge riffs and distant synths. The third part has a more playful feel overall, with jaunty guitar riffs and a snappy hi-hat beat. The final part of the track has a sense of events coming to a head, with busy riffs and rapid tom fills.

ALKALOID takes the listener on a fascinating journey through the cosmos. I felt that the songwriting stayed away from being pretentious, which can be a potential pitfall for death metal bands on the technical and/or progressive end of the spectrum. I’m looking forward to hearing what these guys put together next.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Carbon Phrases
2. From a Hadron Machinist
3. Cthulu
4. Alter Magnitudes
5. Orgonism
6. Dyson Sphere
7. The Malkuth Grimoire
8. C-Value Enigma
9. Funeral for a Continent
Morean – Vocals, Guitars
Christian Muenzner – Guitars
Danny Tunker – Guitars
Linus Klausenitzer – Bass
Hannes Grossmann – Drums 
Record Label: Season of Mist


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