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Alchemy X - A Delicate Balance - BMI/Plastic Giraffe - 1999 reviewed by: Agent of Steel

Track Listing
1. Sister
2. Emotion-time & resonance
3. Emotion-killing thoughts
4. The Sands of Time
5. Alchemy
6. Fatality Complex
7. Requiem by Moonlight
8. Seventh Sign
Jerseys' Alchemy X debut album, "A Delicate Balance", may be a few years old. But I don't see where that should stop me from reviewing one of the heaviest Progressive Metal albums I've ever had the pleasure of blasting at full volume.

Yes, "heavy" is the first word that may soar through your mind at first spin but there is just so much more depth to "A Delicate Balance" than just being heavy. Steve Ratchen's keyboards are layered over and throughout incredible melodies lines, along with Chris Fox and Rob Schreiber's heavily distorted guitar riffs, and moody, clean compositions. Might I add that the leads are what shredders' wet dreams are made of. Ratchen also takes control with busy bass lines throughout the entire album, never to leave the listeners mind to wander, not even for an instant. While Chris Scorsese keeps the drum work technical and precise. Martin Morin's vocals sound like a cross between Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Warrel Dane (Sanctuary/Nevermore), as he sings and screams his way through 8 full tracks, and makes it sound so easy.

One with a closed mind or an untrained ear could pass off "A Delicate Balance" as nothing special after a brief listen. But give this a few spins and relish in the greatness that is Alchemy X. With tracks like "Alchemy", "Requiem by Moonlight", and "7th Sign" you can't go wrong. Very technical at times yet catchy enough to have you singing along with choruses and hooks that literally come out of nowhere. The top notch production doesn't hurt matters either! Those in need of a dark/atmospheric yet distortion driven Progressive Metal album, look no further than "A Delicate Balance".

--Agent of Steel 7.6.03
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ALCHEMY X
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
11:59:59Alchemy X
2002
Josh Greer7/8/2003
A Delicate BalanceAlchemy X
1999
Josh Greer7/8/2003


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ALCHEMY X

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ALCHEMY X
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Bob Mitchell/Steve RatchenAlchemy XJosh Greer8/22/2003


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