Alchemy X - A Delicate Balance

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Independent/Plastic Giraffe Productions
Catalog Number:
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:17:00

American 5-piece Alchemy X was founded back in 1994 but it was in 1996 that the band finally completed a full line-up. The band had a hectic schedule of writing, rehearsing and arranging the material for their debut album and in late 1997 they decided to record the debut at Beartrack Studios in New York. Performers such as Spyro Gyra and Yanni had previously recorded there. Nearly one year later, the mastering was completed for their debut CD A Delicate Balance.

A Delicate Balance offers 8 tracks of high quality guitar-based prog metal. The songs are based around the heavy twin-guitar work of Chris Fox and Rob Schreiber and the great vocals of Martin Morin. The vocals of Martin are very good, coming off as a mid- to high ranged singer. Unfortunately, he has already left the band. As mentioned, the songs are pretty heavy and this fact is strengthened by the somewhat dark atmosphere of the songs. The music is quite technical and with good variation within each song, yet without being overly progressive. The melody-lines are good as well as the choruses. The use of clean guitars (great sound BTW) in some verses/songs is a superb idea. These song parts work out very well, such as on song 2 which is reminiscent of the now sadly defunct Danish band Carisma. Although the band certainly have found some kind of distinctive stamp, there are traces of Fates Warning, Queensryche, etc. to be heard in their music.

The players are very competent and they show lots of promise as a band. The production is also good for an indie-release. If I should put my finger on anything, it would be that there are a couple of fillers here that don't come up to the quality of the other songs. They lack the melody, both in verses and choruses.

Overall this is a very nice surprise and a very good debut. This CD will most likely appeal to fans of the abovementioned bands or fans of prog metal and dark 80s power metal in general. Worth checking out!

[This review originally appeared at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Sister (8:20) / Emotion: Time & Resonance (4:01) / Emotion: Killing Thoughts (5:19) / The Sands Of Time (8:11) / Alchemy (5:41) / Fatality Complex (7:25) / Requiem By Moonlight (6:52) / Seventh Sign (4:28)

Martin Morin - vocals
Chris Fox - guitars
Rob Schreiber - guitars
Steve Ratchen - bass, keyboards
Chris Scorsese - drums

A Delicate Balance (1999)
11:59:59 (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: May 1st 2003
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 1234
Language: english


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