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Alkemy - da 63 projekt

Alkemy - da 63 projektLike many a good wine, Alkemy hails from Bordeaux, France.  From the band's formation in 2000, many gigs followed and they finally got around to recording their debut album, da 63 projekt, in 2003 which has been released by Unicorn records in 2004.

Initially, Alkemy consisted of of a trio (vocals/guitars, drums, bass) but after a year of gigging, found a keyboard player.

da 63 projekt is an unlikely mix of jazz fusion and progressive metal, a mix Alkemy pull off with amazing ease and dexterity.  All the more amazing  as Lionel Bertrand (drums), Aurelien Budynek (guitars, vocals), Aureli Martin (keyboards) and Philippe Sifre (bass, background vocals) are barely in their twenties.

It is rare these days to find vocals with this style of music and jazz fusion fans may wince at the thought of of it, yet Aurelien's voice is good and unobtrusive, comparable with some southern UK coastprogger bands and goes with the flow.  The sound has a north American feel with a hint of Canterbury at times.  The band's stated influences of Dream Theater, Queensryche, Chick Corea Electric Band, Miles Davies and Pat Methany are all there in the sense that they are placed in a cocktail shaker then served at room temperature with an olive.  In other words, the colder edge of prog metal does not affect the overall warm feeling of the album.

The funkiness of the jazzier moments spills over into the more aggressive metal sections which makes for a smooth transition but the album has an equal measure of coarse and smooth, like the extremes of 'wet and dry' paper grades, yet the music is devoid of 'rough' edges.

There are no certainties in life and a band can be here today and gone tomorrow, but if Alkemy stick together and continue the way they have started, they could well be a prog household name in the years to come.

Jem Jedrzejewski


Unicorn Records


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