ALBUM REVIEW: Alchemy of Flesh – By Will Alone


 

With the end of the year approaching swiftly, new albums are dropping and trying their damndest to make it onto different Album of the Year lists.

 

Alchemy Of Flesh, solo project of Tim Rowland, has dropped its second full-length, By Will Alone (Redefining Darkness). This record is straightforward Death Metal that does not stray too far from the path. This results in a fiery thirty-nine minutes of all of the typical elements of Death Metal while avoiding the Swedish-style calling cards.

 

The first half of By Will Alone (“Meteor Hammer” and “The Godhead of Self”) share a lot of commonality such as similar tremolo guitar riffs and vocal patterns/structures. In all honesty, listening straight-through, the album was difficult because of the first half not really grabbing my attention.

 

Having said that, “Labyrinthine Fortress” pulls me right in every time with the slower, more pronounced OSDM guitar riffs and drum work. There is a bridge segment of the song where the tempo gets turned back on, but this was much more effective than the previous tracks.

In the second half, Alchemy of Flesh stacks the deck with tracks like “An Erratic Existence” and “Immuration.”

The former track switches back and forth between both higher and lower tempo effectively. However, a melodic Death Metal guitar melody kicks in out of nowhere and is one of the best parts of the whole record, getting stuck in my head for the final few tracks.

 

The latter track trades around guitar riffs that will sound like galloping one second, to a lot of the chug another, and then being held together by a psychedelic sounding string-skipping riff.

 

I may not be in love with By Will Alone as a whole, but the work that Tim puts into Alchemy of the Flesh is clear. Lyrically speaking, being heavily influenced by horror video games, I was instantly sold as those make up my other hobby outside of Ghost Cult.

 

At the end of the day, what fell short was just the grouping of the tracks in the beginning being a little too similar. Had they been a bit more scattered around, I could see myself enjoying the album more without losing attention at the start.

 

Buy the album here:

https://alchemyofflesh.bandcamp.com/album/by-will-alone

 

6 / 10

TIM LEDIN