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On disc: Alchemy Room

Origin Of Fears - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

Origin Of Fears
(self-released - 2008)

Alchemy Room is an Italian band founded in early 2007 by guitarist Fabio La Manna to bring his songs to life. The name Alchemy Room stands for a room where different elements get combined to create something new - and that's what a band is doing.
Slowly they kick off with Inside My Fear, but soon they speed up and offer a riff-based tune. The voice and style of Irene Mondino reminds me of someone, but I can't fathom it... Anyway, they vary between mid-paced and up-tempo parts. During the instrumental part guitarist Fabio La Manna adds some neo-classical influenced parts, but also other elements which give their sound a progressive touch. Towards the end they slow down again. But I missed a return of the vocals for a kind of lead out. With almost 15 minutes they offer a very long tune called La fin absolute du Monde which opens with some staccato and disturbed vocals, but then a melodic guitar takes over - for a moment. Unusual drum patterns stand against the vocals and then they head into an instrumental passage with progressive elements. Twists and turns dominate this tune, but when Irene joins in the song gets something special, but then they return to the opening theme - and change again. Atmospheric sounds like you know them from the 70's prog rock bands take over. Then you hear some voices in the distant - like listening to some distant radio... Back with heavy riffs and powerful drumming they take you on a roller coaster ride. With guitar and vocals slowly Obsession Red Blood begins, then they explode and they head into a symphonic metal tune - with progressive elements. And again the song ends without Irene's voice. At Lost I finally know who Irene reminds me of... Estrum's Zena McKelvy - even Irene has a different timbre, coz Zena's voice is has a darker, deeper timbre. Irene finally get more space to show her talent at Lost, where not half of the song is instrumental. The last 2 tracks are Waking The Child Part 1 and 2. Together its more then 24 minutes. Part 1 starts balladesque with guitar and vocal, then the band joins in, but it stays balladesque. Then they explode and head into a symphonic passage with heavy riffs and powerful drumming. The instrumental passage is taken them back to progressive sounds, complex parts and tempi changes. A slow passage leads out of Part 1 and into Part 2 - and Irene returns. A surprise is the almost folk-ish part, a bit like Blackmore's Night... And again they head into a long instrumental passage - and let the tune fade out.
With 6 tracks just shy of an hour they offer a blend of symphonic sounds and progressive elements, of heavy riffs and melodies. They have long instrumental passages, but I think they should give Irene more chances to use her vocal chords. Or decide to do instrumental music... Even if I would vote for the first....

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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