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Review: Alchemy Fire - Alchemy Fire
Alchemy Fire
www.alchemyfireofficial.com
Alchemy Fire

Label: Qumran Records
Year released: 2023
Duration: 42:40
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating:
2.75/5


Review online: January 4, 2024
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (4 Votes)
Review

There's a subset of progressive power metal out there that really pisses me off because it has most of the pieces it needs while forgetting a crucial one, and Alchemy Fire's debut is a good case study for it. If you were to judge solely on the opener "Alchemy," you'd wonder what the hell I was talking about, because it's a pretty strong song that displays some tight musicianship, strong riffs, and David Reed Watson's powerful vocals (which are particularly impressive if he really is in his 60s like Metal-Archives claims), and it's all wrapped with a pristine production that's heavy as hell without sacrificing clarity and depth. Then you get deeper into the album and it feels like a bait and switch, because outside some decent leads and riffs that pop up, the guitar work is a lot of chugging rhythms in place of actual riffs. Sure, by themselves they're driving and fierce, but the problem is that you're supposed to build off of them and transition to different ideas, whether it be a key progression or a melodic lead or just something that's not just more chugging, otherwise it starts gelling together and gets bland, which is what happens here. This is more a songwriting problem than anything, as the actual compositions are rather shallow for something clearly trying to emulate something like Symphony X and Queensrÿche, only grasping the style in lieu of the substance for the majority of the album, and all the technical proficiency in the world can't make up for that deficiency. I won't count these guys out yet, but until they have ideas other than being heavy and clean, they'll be just another misguided prog/power band in a sea of them that seems to be growing at a concerning rate.

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