Alkymist – “Sanctuary” (Indisciplinarian)
Battle Helm Rating
Less than 2 years since their self titled debut album, Alkymist sets out once more on a trip that takes you far beyond this world and into their dark and crushingly heavy realm of grandiose soundscapes. A new group dedicated to exploring the poetic beauty and brutality of the natural riff, Alkymist were formed by members with roots in Danish underground bands like Detest, Gas Giant, The Ritual and Düreforsög to mix progressive melodies into primordial doom sludge, which “Sanctuary” does in abundance and to exquisite effect on the senses! Right from the opening of ‘Oethon’ with its clanging, contorting melodies and Peter Bjørneg Jørgensen’s primeval roars and drawls, nothing can prepare you for the gargantuan bass sound from Kaspar Luke, booming and sounding its massive ultra catchy reverberations as this slow moving track, topped off tantalizingly by trippy lacings, sinks you into the mental abyss. Speeding up on ‘Draugr’ with its slick groove propelled by Philip Deadhorse Morthorst’s drums, that irresistible bass is now strummed to incredible effect to produce a very suave dark wave sound atop which Jørgensen growls like a slavering lycanthrope as Stefan Krey’s guitar unleashes endless astral effects to spell bounding wonder – wow! With short, ambient pieces like the cosmic melancholic ‘Gust Of War’ sweeping in between, ‘Desolated Sky’ is nothing short of a crusher, mixing that trippy ambiance completed by trance vocals offset by Jørgensen’s hoarse vocal furor and of course, Luke’s immeasurably heavy and distorted bass sliding and rumbling on this utterly captivating near 10 minute beast. Heading into the next galaxy – and make it a dark one – is another netherworld of doom in ‘Astral Haze’ as Luke’s fuzzed bass sounds like asteroids colliding each time he plucks those industrial scale strings, while being starkly contrasted by Krey’s ethereal guitar indulging in its own wailing song adding momentary bliss between the 4 string compression and Jørgensen’s predatory drawl. Leaving the listener truly touched, “Sanctuary” is an astounding release by all accounts…..