It was a crying shame when Alchemist split up in 2010. The Canberra four piece's six album streak from 1993's Jar Of Kingdom to 2007's Tripsis (2000's Organasm being my favourite) contain some of the best, most innovative and unique metal ever from Australia, hell the world! The band mixed death metal, prog, eastern melodies, slide guitar and keys to produce an awesomely original sound. An international deal with Relapse saw the band on the edge of greatness, ultimately life happens and the band kind of just faded away. So it was extremely pleasing to learn that former Alchemist guitarist/frontman Adam Agius formed a new project The Levitation Hex.
Joining Agius is half of cult tech-thrashers Alarum (bassist/vocalist Mark Palfreyman and guitarist Scott Young) and drummer Ben Hocking (also from Tech-death blasters Aeon of Horus). The pedigree of the members could mean that the band could coast on the reputation of their more well known past, pleasingly TLH have created a new sound that, whilst containing elements of the past, is more modern and fresh.
Agius' howling vocals trade off with Palfreyman's more hardcore(?) style and it works well. Elements of Voivod are abound in chuggy opener 'Disrate', the whole guitar sound thicker and meatier. 'Amygdala' has a touch of Devin Townsend about it and an earworm hook that you won't shake for days.
Cohesion is an apt title, as although 2012's self titled debut was great, Cohesion is phenomenal. An essential purchase and an album of the year contender.
Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.