|Few forms of music allow artists the flexibility to express themselves in a way that fully encompasses the ideas a band have about their music and where they want to take it. In heavy metal circles, the bands that do show an uncompromising attitude are usually brief, bright sparks that quickly die after an album or two. Rarer still is for a band of four young men to spend over ten years wandering in a completely self-constructed universe that has continually expanded as they built upon their style. A universe so diverse and devoid of complacency one could forgive a casual observer some trepidation upon their first visit to the galaxy Alchemist built.
Since releasing their "Jar of Kingdom" album in 1991, Alchemist has continually raised the bar for one of the Worlds most criminally underexposed music scenes. The Australian heavy metal scene. Long at the forefront of an overlooked genre and always maintaining their own identity, Alchemist's unrelenting work ethic and the bands involvement in bringing the Southern Hemisphere's largest metal showcase day, Metal for the Brain, to fruition since 1996 has only reinforced the respect this band has earned amongst its peers and countrymen. Having endlessly toured the wide brown land of Australia for years and performing countless support acts with the elite of metal music such as Opeth, Kreator and Fear Factory to name but a very few. With a live experience delivering the most album quality sound in Australian metal today, its little wonder Alchemists' 2000 tour with Cryogenic and Psi Kore was the most successful domestic metal tour in Australian history.
Their own blend of classic metal elements with the psychedelic influences of acid rock bands such as Pink Floyd and The Porcupine Tree have long featured and anchored the sound. Evolving from these explorations saw experimentation with traditional indigenous Australian instruments and world music influences to compliment their evolution, the Alchemist sound has become the apex predator in Australian metal. Joining forces with Chatterbox Records in 2000 also enabled the band to drop an excellent album in the form of "Organasm" that same year. "Organasm" showcased a band across so many genres it was impossible to ignore the noise coming from the south any longer. Relapse Records heard the quality picked up the band and added it to its already burgeoning roster of talent, alongside bands like Amorphis, Pig Destroyer, Nile and Today Is The Day.
The band took the longest hiatus in its history from the live scene in preparation for a new album to be released on Chatterbox/Relapse. After nearly two years of work "Austral Alien" once again displayed a band at the peak of a creative wave. Recording the album in Rye, Victoria with Superheist axeman and producer extrodinaire D.W. Norton, allowed the band to go away and focus on the job at hand for three weeks of the Australian summer in early 2003. "Austral Alien" has dropped to widespread critical acclaim from home and aboard, the band finally enjoying the fruits of over ten years of hard labour. Critical acclaim from all print and electronic media leaves no doubt that Alchemist are and continue to be a relevant and dominant force in original heavy music.