Abraxas - 2024 - Malpermesita

Alkhemia image
In Hell>>JAMES SPAR>>In Hell

En Finir…>>LE PRINCE [MAXIME BEILER]>>En Finir... - Odyme, Anthanide, Doomforge, Nirnaeth, Lord Ketil, Malcuidant>>MARBAS [QUENTIN MACHEZ]>>Doomforge, Nirnaeth, Lord Ketil, Malcuidant

Azziard, Mind Asylum, The Negation, Redsphere>>A.S.A>>Azziard, Redsphere>> Azziard, Mind Asylum, Redsphere


History & Biography
The band was founded as an idea by Spar during the pandemic days of 2020. The group played with Räum and RüYYn in 2023. France-based Alkhemia had an album called Abraxas through Malpermesita Records. The band was founded in Lille by singer James Spar and features guitarist Le Prince (En Finir…), bassist A.S.A (Azziard, Redsphere and ex-The Negation), guitarist Marbas (Malcuidant, Nirnaeth and Lord Ketil) and drummer Alex Josien. The album “intertwines the theory of the two wolves and George Orwell's 1984.” It also “addresses the contemporary vision of man and the most sinister industrialization.” 2024 brought a series of concerts and a video for the song Toxikon.


The musicians are experienced elsewhere and the songs benefit from a consequent maturity of composition and content, but the French band Alkhemia is new to the world and Abraxas is its debut album. That is merely an explanatory notice, but it is irrelevant. The bigger picture is that Alkhemia’s music is intrepid, raucous and effective.
Abraxas, a title whose Gnostic context speaks to the album thematically, begins with a recording of Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti addressing all the feeble, ignorant and sheepish bipedal monkey-cousins to refute gurus, influencers, takers, grifters and charlatans that everyone clings to. And, for once, among the vast swath of bipeds this man was not a hypocrite having turned down his own earmarked status and reverence. Compare that to all the fake or real (it is the same thing) gurus, spiritual teachers, influencers and monks people pay cash to… yes, suckers.
Back to Abraxas, lead track Homopresence displays a momentary hesitation - as if dipping its toe into the murky waters of ferocity as a means of acclimating the listener - before chopping heads off with guillotine-like efficiency. The song introduces the band as brutal and violent with speeds that support the angry and gruff vocals. Yet, there is melody here and, on this particular track, an abetting synthesiser a la Morbid Angel on Altars Of Madness. The track is nine minutes long and still not long enough. The lingering distorted bass at the end of the number is a reminder of the instrument’s presence throughout the track and the album. It is also clear that the album benefits from a surprisingly good production. Even the drums, while imperfect, are beefier than the vast majority of its clicky cohorts nowadays. The band is fast, yet tight, interesting, but never outside the realm of metal and the heaviness mingles with loads of harmonics that should delight Deathlike Dawn or Behemoth fans. The musicians reward the listener with a couple of twists to capture creativity like the aforementioned (strictly backing) synthesisers or clean spoken vocal interludes. The solo is short and rudimentary and the band unfortunately refuses to go back to that well again. Toxicon is even harder and goes for the jugular efficiently and effectively. The drums do well again. Manifestly, the songs are interconnected and the band is pushing a coherent agenda. Transhumanization offers playful drums, a deceptively simple sounding structure that is more intricate than it lets on. It throws in a thrashy tempo change which is yet another jolt of energy. There is a funky bass, a crackling distorted bass sound and the song overall is, and feels, shorter at five minutes long. Primaveal Pantheon has an almost soulful start and stays soulful.. as in soul full of odium. The crashing metal riffs are armed with a heavy and warm drum sound that marches to the beat of militaristic brutality. One swears a dozen poser ‘symphonic’ so-called metal bands just died of aural torment overload just being in the same province as this album (not to mention half the eunuchs running around Finland) and this is just the harmonic mid-paced song of the splendid album. Primaveal Pantheon harbours the album’s sharpest guitar sound and some creative drumming along with a spoken-word interlude. The aggressive distortion bestowed on Abraxas represents itself like a turbo jet engine. Reminiscence Quintessence is more Dissection than anywhere else on the record. Still, the unneeded synthesiser to fill space should have been replaced with a layer of guitars. The drums hurry forward and the singer rasps beyond tolerance of most mortals. The snare sound is warm, heavy and aids the powerful rolls and blasting to excellent effect. For some of the track the drums rush forward while the music falls back to a medium pace. Speaking of asynchronicity, the singer is usually a gear slower than the music and enunciates half the speed of the rest of the track. The interconnected songs constitute forty minutes of talented and earnest extremeness that balances the most extremes of metal and copious harmony. The lack of lead guitars is the record’s only deficiency, but overall this album is a relief. It is a relief that they still make albums like this. - Ali “The Metallian”