The MAlkuth Grimoire


ALKALOID is a Progressive Death Metal band from Germany debuting with their first work of […]
By H.P. Buttcraft
April 29, 2015
Alkaloid - The Malkuth Grimoire album cover

ALKALOID is a Progressive Death Metal band from Germany debuting with their first work of forward-thinking heaviness "The Malkuth Grimoire". After a successful IndieGoGo campaign funded by fans of technical and progressive death metal, ALKALOID raised over nineteen thousand Euros (over $20k in US dollars) to produce this album. With great luck like that, ALKALOID was summoned by the sheer desire from music fans to hear their supernatural horror movie version of Death Metal.

ALKALOID is a super group of heavy metal veterans from a large, interconnected network of some of Death Metal's most recognizable bands. Guitar player Christian Münzner has played in bands like SPAWN OF POSSESSION and formerly for NIGHTRAGE, NECROPHAGIST and OBSCURA. Opposite of him on guitar is Danny Tunker from ABORTED and formerly of GOD DETHRONED. The peerless drumming of Hannes Grossman has been heard with bands like the Progressive Metal band BLOTTED SCIENCE, and was also formerly a member of NECROPHAGIST. Accompanying the rhythm section on bass is Linus Klausenitzer from OBSCURA and FALL OF SERENITY. And all vocals screamed or otherwise come from DARK FORTESS frontman Morean who was also in NONEUCLID with Linus.

The music is a respectable mix of sounds I've heard before from bands like MORBID ANGEL, CYNIC, SCAR SYMMETRY, TOOL and AUGURY. The songs, like the bands influences, gauge from science fiction-obsessed progressive rock riffs to metal riffs fit for polytheistic cult devil-worship to melodic shredding. There is really no one character the sound of ALKALOID portrays but rather represents a whole cast of characters in their musical talents that range from easy to relate to, darkness, and complexity. One of the greatest things on this record is the guitar solo on the outro of "C-Value Enigma". It sounds like a cross between someone playing a harp and a Gameboy game.

I think the band over-complicates its vocal section which is the talent of the group that I believe becomes overshadowed by its instrumental section. The lyrics of these songs were inspired by the historical works of 20th century figures such biological engineer Freeman Dyson, American horror and suspense author H.P. Lovecraft and polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, of whom the song "Funeral For A Continent" is dedicated to. Morean bounces back and forth from sounding like BEHEMOTH and GHOST B.C. to deliver this metal that is nearly educational to listen to because of how dense the lyrical matter is. Sometimes this is becomes really interesting to listen to and other times is just sounds recycled.

I would give this album a very solid recommendation but I was left a little bit underwhelmed because although ALKALOID is a kick-ass band, they try to cover too much genre territory on this record for the music to become consistent. But this same unpredictability is a lot of what gives ALKALOID their strength. I was just wishing for this band to strike a stronger chord with me but it rather strikes chords with me I enjoy but don't necessarily hold at a high value, if that makes any sense at all.

I still believe ALKALOID is a great band and I can imagine that they would be seriously entertaining to see in person. If any of the bands I have mentioned in this review make music you love, you should definitely give "The Malkuth Grimoire" a honest listening attempt.

7 / 10


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"The MAlkuth Grimoire" Track-listing:

1. Carbon Phrases
2. From a Hadron Machinist
3. Cthulhu
4. Alter Magnitudes
5. Orgonism
6. Dyson Sphere - I. Mining the Oorth Cloud
7. Dyson Sphere - II. Assembly
8. Dyson Sphere - III. Kardashev 2.1 The God Oven
9. Dyson Sphere - IV. Sol Omega
10. The Malkuth Grimoire
11. C-Value Enigma
12. Funeral for a Continent

Alkaloid Lineup:

Linus Kalusenitzer - Bass
Hannes Grossmann - Drums
Christian Münzner - Guitar
Danny Tunker - Guitars
Morean - Vocals

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