Last year, I ended my seventeen-year-old career and joined the United Nations. That’s easily one of the best decisions of my life, however, it came with a cost: I am super busy. Especially these days, as I am responsible for talent acquisition in Emergence response in Ukraine. Meaning I haven’t got much time for album reviews.
Our loyal followers would know that we are a bunch of music journalists who would either review an album in-depth or don’t touch it. But this must end today, as I really have to talk about this album: Rise of the Alchemist.
It is the first product released by the band’s own label, SNS Records, and met the audience in physical and digital formats two days ago on April 8, 2022.
Tell you what? Over the years I’ve grown away from classical metal/ old school metal /power metal. I don’t listen to those genres anymore. So I have to be honest with you, I stood a bit distant from this album before checking it out. Damn you prejudice!
But I am so glad that I gave it a fair chance, as I am totally blown away by the amazingness of this album. It is fantastic from the beginning to the end.
Queen of the Nile has become an instant fave by its catchiness of the initial riff and the amazing instrumental sections. The whole song is one big hook.
I will forever recall my lasting impression of the grandiose opener As Above So Below as being rather amazing, too. The intro is glorious and weirdly modern. This song is absolutely beautiful and wonderful. Everything just works here.
All songs are super catchy with melodic arrangements, and very well written & performed. The album is full of very classy layered guitar parts, melodies and anthemic choruses, and incredibly paced solos. It has a rock-solid and tight rhythmic foundation and very slick production values that allow something like Mehmet Kaya’s voice to shine in proper context. Oh man, is he a good vocalist!! Yeah, we know that by now. He can pull off some pretty high passages being super comfortable up there.
The guitar work is top-notch all throughout the album. Soloing is varied across different styles and solid in all of them, excellent work. The occasional orchestral feeling on this album feels like a film soundtrack every now and again.
The sound of the album is excellent, points are awarded to Deniz Tuncer for production and the band’s longtime friend Max Morton for mixing and mastering (Morton, Jinjer). They clearly know what they are doing.
The variety is rich in this album, the melodies have a lot of diversity to them, and it flows really well, too. The only downside about this album is that the chorus of a couple of songs felt a little repetitive for my taste. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this album is a five-star one.
It’s definitely a step up, I mean it contains all the elements that we associate with them, but I think the album feels really fresh as a whole. This band really exploring what they can do with each album is something good to see. The concept, atmosphere, and balance of aggressive and melodic is the perfect cocktail of music for me.
Check it out, if you haven’t already!
The full tracklisting is:
- 1. As Above So Below (5.42)
- 2. Sign of Things to Come (5.24)
- 3. Sacred Ground (6.32)
- 4. Saviour of the Damned (4.56)
- 5. Dreamer (4.17)
- 6. Death Comes in Winter (7.43)
- 7. Queen of the Nile (5.23)
- 8. Ivory Tower (5.28)
- 9. Rise of the Alchemist (11.45)
- 10. Catch 22 (4.40)
The 2022 line-up of the band, which has gone through changes, is:
- Mehmet Kaya: Vocals
- Deniz Tuncer: Guitars, Backing Vocals, Keys
- Kıvanç Kaytanlı: Guitars, Keys
- Berkan Çakmak: Bass
- Doğan Rekkalı: Drums