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