Since its establishment in 2014, Alkaloid, a German progressive metal supergroup, has been ceaselessly broadening the horizons of the genre. The ensemble includes renowned artists Hannes Grossmann and Christian Muenzner, former members of the technical death metal band Obscura, along with Linus Klausenitzer, another Obscura veteran, Morean from Dark Fortress and Noneuclid, and Danny Tunker, previously of Aborted.
Distinctively, Alkaloid was not the result of unestablished musicians banding together to create an imprint on the music scene but was formed by experienced stalwarts from the extreme metal milieu, justifying its classification as a “supergroup.” Their unique talent lies in their capacity to blend diverse metallic genres into a unified, groundbreaking auditory experience.
From Grossmann’s intricate percussion to Muenzner’s guitar expertise, each member contributes significantly to Alkaloid’s rich sound. Klausenitzer’s six-string fretless bass imparts a distinctive auditory texture to the compositions, while Morean’s vocal prowess adds an oscillating mix of raw, guttural growls and clean, melodious singing. Tunker’s rhythm guitar work forms a robust foundation, harmonizing with the band’s complex melodic architecture.
The band’s name, Alkaloid, mirrors their musical philosophy: a potent amalgamation of elements meticulously crafted to resonate deeply with the listener, much like the naturally derived compounds frequently used for their therapeutic properties. Their style, a fusion of various sub-genres of metal, challenges and rewards listeners with its complexity.
Despite a compact discography, Alkaloid distinguishes itself through musical refinement and innovation. Their inaugural album, ‘The Malkuth Grimoire,’ released on March 17, 2015, under an independent label, showcased the band’s technical virtuosity and inventive approach. Its elaborate arrangements, complex rhythms, and a mix of raw and polished vocals laid the groundwork for Alkaloid’s distinctive sound.
Their sophomore album, ‘Liquid Anatomy,’ launched on May 18th, 2018, under the Season of Mist seal, saw the band stretching the confines of progressive metal even further, exploring realms of science fiction and philosophy, and earning praise for its technical mastery and adeptness at merging diverse musical styles.
The band’s latest album, ‘Numen,’ to be released on September 15th, 2023 through Season of Mist, marks a significant evolution. Members from Triptykon, Obscura, Dark Fortress, and Obsidious have created a multifaceted masterpiece that layers heavy cosmological and Lovecraftian theoretical themes over musically proficient songs that strike a balance between accessibility and undeniable complexity.
The conception of ‘Numen’ during the pandemic, with songwriting sessions facilitated over the Internet and demo tracks exchanged reciprocally, only exemplifies the band’s adaptability and resilience, even with rhythm guitarist Tunker’s departure.
‘Numen,’ a term that captivated Morean since the band’s inception, attempts to perceive the universe from a sort of meta-perspective. The album signifies a substantial progression in the band’s repertoire, demonstrating the band’s talent for blending diverse metallic genres into an innovative sound and exhibiting their unwavering quest for musical innovation.
In conjunction with ‘Numen,’ the band unveiled a music video for ‘Clusterfuck,’ a track that oscillates between groove, hooks, brutality, and complexity while posing existential questions about human ambition.
Alkaloid’s profound influence extends beyond the progressive metal landscape; through their participation in other bands, the members have also significantly contributed to the wider metal scene. As Alkaloid continues to evolve and innovate, their impact on the genre is poised to amplify.
‘Numen’ represents a crucial landmark in Alkaloid’s evolution. Crafted in the midst of the pandemic, the band’s adaptation to challenging circumstances saw them orchestrating their songwriting sessions over the internet. Each member, isolated and focused on their respective parts, contributed to the album’s creation through the exchange of demo tracks. Even when rhythm guitarist Tunker amicably departed due to personal reasons, Alkaloid pressed on, showcasing their collective professionalism and reliability.
The title, ‘Numen,’ held a special place in Morean’s creative pursuits from the beginning. It encapsulates a shift in perspective: a sort of meta-view of the universe, akin to an imaginary deity. The album explores themes of Lovecraftian horror and space manipulation while maintaining a balance of musical accessibility and complexity, solidifying Alkaloid’s reputation for boundary-pushing composition.
The band’s recent video single, ‘Clusterfuck,’ signifies their commitment to innovation. While one of their shorter and more temperate pieces, the song traverses the classic Alkaloid spectrum. Oscillating between groove, hooks, brutality, and complexity, the track’s lyrics pose a bold question: why should we, as a species, strive for greatness, given the likelihood of eventual failure?
Undoubtedly, Alkaloid has left a profound mark on the progressive metal landscape. Their approach to composition and performance influences numerous bands within the genre. Further, through their participation in other bands, the members of Alkaloid have made significant contributions to the broader metal scene.
Alkaloid’s ‘Numen’ is not just an album; it is a cosmic journey that challenges and rewards listeners with its complexity. The band’s adaptability and resilience, demonstrated by the conception of ‘Numen’ during the pandemic, is a testament to their unwavering quest for musical innovation. This album signifies a substantial progression in the band’s repertoire, blending diverse metallic genres into an innovative sound that resonates deeply with the listener.
Pre-orders for ‘Numen’ are now open. Do not miss the chance to be among the first to experience this groundbreaking album from Alkaloid. Secure your copy today and embark on a musical journey that transcends the boundaries of progressive metal.