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Alchemist Biography

Last updated: 03/06/2003 05:58:04 PM

Alchemist Bio 2000. Alchemist are an Australian band born and bred in the Nation's Capital City of Canberra. We were originally formed in 1987 as a high school project by Adam (guitars/vocals & keyboards), and the band has undergone numerous stylistic changes since it's early inception. In late 1989 Rodney (drums/percussion) joined up with Adam and in May 1990 the first serious demo was recorded. At this time Alchemist were playing a technical thrash metal style, and turned to our early heroes such as Destruction, Voi Vod, Coroner, Celtic Frost, Slayer and Metallica for inspiration. The band however was instinctively aware of the importance of stylistic individuality and began searching for a wider range of musical elements to incorporate into our compositions.

Right from the start Alchemist was striving to create a unique musical identity within the "metal" genre. In 1991 John (bass) joined the band and we began writing tunes for a new demo. This recording simply titled "demo '91" did exceptionally well for a tiny underground act, and resulted in the group's signing to Austrian label "Lethal Records”. In early 1992 Roy (guitars & artwork) joined the band and the Alchemist lineup was finally complete. Adam, Rodney, John and Roy spent the majority of that year working hard on new material to be recorded for our debut CD "Jar of Kingdom".

Jar of Kingdom showcases an extreme and innovative metal band who were unafraid to experiment outside the restraints and boundaries associated within the metal genre. Alchemist continued to evolve with the death metal scene and began borrowing new influences from heavier acts such as Autopsy, Pungent Stench, Napalm Death and Grave. What made Alchemist unique was our desire and ability to mix this metal fusion with other disparate influences such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, The Grateful Dead, and Hendrix- to name a few. In fact any different array of sounds we could mange to create was incorporated into our music resulting in some of the most intensely crazy metal music ever created. Hot Metal editor Jeremy Sheaffe stated that "Jar of Kingdom" was "possibly the most innovative album I have ever heard!”The recording sold well throughout Europe and the mere 1000 copies that were imported into Australia sold almost immediately. This makes the original pressing of "Jar" quite a rarity within Australia. The recording has since been re-released, along with the demo 91 through out Australia on Shock Records.

Alchemist's newly raised national and international profile led the band signing to Australian label "Shock Records". This deal resulted in the 1995 release- "Lunasphere". Lunasphere is a much less chaotic and more produced recording than it's predecessor and helped push the band to the forefront of the Australian metal scene. This enabled Alchemist to support prestigious international touring acts such as Kreator, Pungent Stench, Fear factory and The Young Gods- to name a few. This was also the time that local sound legend Guppy joined the band completing the modern line up. Despite receiving fantastic reviews in music mags both in Australia and internationally, Lunasphere suffered from a severe lack of international publicity and distribution, and was generally kept anonymous from audiences outside Australia. 1997 saw the release of the band's latest full length CD "Spiritech". This recording show's the group’s further interest in musical experimentation and progression within an often-stagnant genre. Through the use of more keyboards, drumloops and samples, combined with Alchemist’s finely tuned songwriting abilities, Spiritech reinforced the band's position as one of the most prominent progressive metal bands from Australia. Unfortunately, despite rave reviews and articles in press such as Terrorizer and Metal Maniacs, this recording also suffered from a lack of proper international distribution and publicity.

In 1998 Alchemist released within Australia "Eve of the War" - a tribute to one of our childhood hero's Jeff Wayne. This release coincided to mark the 20th anniversary of his "War of the Worlds" soundtrack. The mini CD did well for the band reaching number 7 on the Australian Independent Record charts, but again, was unavailable internationally due to next to no distribution or label support. January 2000 the band entered the studio with D.W. Norton to record the new album, “Organasm” was released on Chatterbox Phantom records in Australia and through Displeased records for the rest of the world. Organasm is a further progression in both song writing and production. Gone is the sludgy bottom end, Organasm is tight crunchy and heavy, and the vocals are more diverse than ever. Gaining good reviews and positive sales in Australia since it’s release. This also is the first recording since Jar of Kingdom to be freely available outside Australia, leaving the band far more positive about converting more fans with the unique songs from Organasm.

Alchemist spent March and April 2000 touring Australia with “World War III”, with Cryogenic and Psi Core. On the whole the future is looking very bright for Alchemist. Our solid lineup is now well over eight years old and stronger than ever. The creativity, songwriting, live performances and overall vibe for the band is as fresh and invigorating as it has ever been. We will continue to organize and promote the largest metal concert in the southern hemisphere - "Metal For The Brain," and enjoy the opportunity to put as much back into the metal scene as we receive from it. We are exited about the millenium change and are viewing it as a new start. Almost like we're a new band, reinvented, rejuvenated, ready to embrace what is to come and hopefully truly make our mark the future.