02 03 Metal Melancholy: ALBUM REVIEW: Alkaloid - The Malkuth Grimoire 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

ALBUM REVIEW: Alkaloid - The Malkuth Grimoire


I was pretty bummed when Hannes Grossmann and Christian Muenzner announced that they were leaving Obscura last year. But, fast forward a few months and Alkaloid was born!

With Danny Lunker (Aborted, ex-God Dethroned) on guitars, Morean (Dark Fortress, Noneuclid) on vocals, and Linus Klausenitzer (Obscura, Noneuclid) handling bass, along with the above mentioned Christian Muenzner (Spawn of Possession, ex-Necrophagist) on guitars and Hannes Grossman (Blotted Science, ex-Necrophagist) behind the drums, I felt that the the band line-up deserves the “Super Group” tag that gets thrown around a bit too frequently these days. Also, the expectations from such a lineup made me ready for some unconventional death metal tunes. Yet, I was still unprepared and completely floored after listening to the prog-death masterpiece that “The Malkuth Grimoire” truly is.

The moment “Carbon Phrases” starts playing, the atmosphere for a heavy record is created. The nine and half minute long track, gives the listener a rough sketch of what the rest of the album holds. The next track “From A Hadron Machinist” is the closest it gets to conventional Technical Death Metal on the record, with the tag still not doing justice to the music on the song. It is the great amount of variation on the album that keeps it fresh through it 73 minute long run. Yet, it is able to maintain the flow and cohesive feel, which makes an album more than just a bunch of songs.

Cithulu” takes a whole new direction with sludgy drum beats mixed with highly technical guitar riffs. The track although giving out the doom vibes, lurches forward before the monster truly has its tentacles wrapped around the listener, with his full attention for the rest of the album. “Orgonism” stands out with its ballad like feel, and really showcases the amount of skill that this band consists of. The track in a way, showcases that The Malkuth Grimoire encompasses, with the variation as the track runs through its passages.

Up next is a 4-part sci-fi concept “Dyson Sphere” written by Morean. It lyrically deals with humans looking to the icy sphere and then “Mining the Oort Cloud” at the edge of the solar system, to build the Dyson Sphere (a megastructure that completely encompasses the sun and hence captures nearly all of its power). It proceeds to the "Assembly", as from the edge of the solar system the Oort swarm is sucked in, passing through the planetary system. With the Dyson Sphere in place, mankind finally achieves “Kardashev  II” scale. Mankind is finally ready to spread its wings beyond the solar system, with many more stars at their disposal, and as mankind finally creates the Genesis Ark, also called The God Atom or “Sol Omega”!

We pray for God
But he ain’t here
Better to build
A Dyson Sphere

The “Dyson Sphere” segment stands out altogether on the record and showcases some of the most technical musicianship on the record. The title track “The Malkuth Grimoire” is a fast paced hard-hitting track that just goes all out. The ProTools made instrumental “C-Value Enigma”, fills in before the album ends with the longest track “Funeral for A Continent”. The track combines the elements introduced throughout the record, tying everything up for a perfect closure.

The vocals by Morean deserve a special praise as the clean segments and growls flow seamlessly throughout the record. At times it even feels as if he is venting out growls and cleans at the same time! The album lyrically deals with the philosophical question of answering the questions to existence, life, universe and everything by taking a scientific route, rather than the belief of a higher power. The lines from the title track, give a perfect glimpse into the idea.

Taking god out of the equation

This is the Malkuth Grimore
A grim insane formula
This is the Malkuth Grimore

Also a special mention must be given to Christian Martin Weiss for the artwork and photography. The band showcases their eye for art, with the amazing artwork photo. With the clay mud photographs of the members, the band has fused the modern sketched artworks trend, with the traditional trend of band photos. The outcome, is a piece of art, that complements the amazing music  by the band.

Overall, this is prog-death music like you've never heard before, with patterns and melodies that you've never come across. Masterpiece.

Rating: 10/10
Reviewed By: Vidur Paliwal

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