Brazilian horror metal collective Alchemia have honed a fascinatingly dark sound that fuses heavy black and death metal influences with dramatic symphonic elements, classical orchestration and gothic synths.
The unique sound of Alchemia is the brainchild of frontman Victor Piiroja, who created the concept and fusion of genres in his home studio. With the song structure composed, he set about building a full band, which began with well-known Brazilian drummer Alex Cristopher. Keyboard player Wally D’Alessandro had played with Victor in a former band, they eventually found a guitarist “with the Alchemia dark soul we needed” in Rodrigo Maciel and completed the lineup with bassist Mr. FIFAS. They then headed into a studio to get Victor’s creation mixed to a professional quality.
The result of that is debut album Inception, which was released last week with Italian label Wormholedeath Records. Our first taste of that was lead single Grind, which opens up with instrumentals that blast into an intense opening verse of engaging voclas over driving guitars and heavy rolling drums. That flows into a chorus of high-pitched vocals “I blame myself, For all the shame, I left myself, Alone with me.”
A second verse drops into stabbing guitars over sinister synths and intense drums, which flows into a chorus of the intriguing high-pitched vocals. Rolling drums and gothic synths take over and give way to a big guitar solo, which feeds into a final chorus and heavy guitars bring the track to a close.
On the track, Victor said: “It is a song that introduces Alchemia’s music with a modern approach and presents versatility in the voice. It contains extremes between low and high pitch, the lyrics talk about conflicts between our conscious and the unconscious, where one side blames the other for allowing oneself to be placed in unfavourable situations. It has to do with our daily choices and how we mature and grow through frustrations, pain and suffering.
“This song was chosen for the first video clip because it unites several sound elements and presents the band to the listener. The videoclip production was really a fun adventure, it took 12 hours of hard work with our good friends from Caxao Produtora in Sao Paulo Brazil. We’ve put a big team together to create a beautiful and macabre horror story.” Check it out in the video below:
The debut album is packed with dark metal goodness, including the lively Haunting You. Booming guitars open up alongside a stabbing synth sound then almost whispered vocals answered by engaging higher-pitched vocals. An atmospheric second verse gives way to a delicious twisting guitar solo over lively drums.
Slightly darker is the title track Inception, which opens up with creepy noises then big gothic guitar chords and synths and rolling drums. Heavy guitar chords kick in under creepy vocals in an atmospheric opening verse, then intense vocals come in over a powerful and dark gothic instrumental backdrop. Check it out in the stream below:
A personal favourite track is the delicious Ashes, which opens up with cool bouncy guitar riff under searing synths. It soon flows into a really cool chorus of high-pitched screams mimicked by a high-pitched synth sound before becoming increasingly dark as the song progresses.
If you like things even darker then the intense Sacrifice or Mind Prison may be the songs for you, but every track on the album offers something to intrigue the listener.
The Alchemia sound has been inlfuenced by artists like Judas Priest, Dimmu Borgir, King Diamond, Cradle of Filth, Rob Zombie and Sepultura.
And on what inspires them to write music, Victor says: “My lyrics on the Inception album are about reflection, conscience, mental imprisonment, phobias and psychological disorders. I’m fascinated by human behaviour and the horrors inside our minds.”
We’ve not met too many bands from Brazil, so we asked the band for their thoughts on their local scene. Victor told us: “Our big Brazilian names are Sepultura, Angra, Krisiun and lately Nervosa. There are hundreds of amazing bands in Brazil, a lot of creativity in every metal genre. It’s always a challenge for a new band to have the funds to invest in good production, equipment and to reach a deal with a record label for promotion or even do the work as an independent artist.
“I think it’s a universal challenge, even more when you play metal. The metal audience is big in our country and to reach them it takes a lot of effort, there aren’t many underground festivals but there are a lot of great rock bars and opportunities.”
Upon the back of the release of Inception, Alchemia have two more videos to be released starting with one for the song Inception. They’re already hard at work on a second album and hope to be able to tour Europe with the tracks from their debut album in 2022.