Alkahest – ‘2’

By Liam Knowles

2018 has been so stacked with fantastic new releases that you’d be forgiven for switching off your release radar as we drift towards year end. It would be a crying shame however, as you’d be missing out on this fantastic EP. Alkahest is the brainchild of Amelia Pereira, who has collaborated with a fluid lineup of musicians to create ‘2’, a five-track journey that mixes the infectious groove of Death From Above 1979, the angular melody of Arcane Roots and the swaggering bravado of The Bronx to create an exciting and ambitious record.

For the most part, this EP is upbeat and energetic, as solid production compliments the chunky riffs and memorable choruses. Amelia’s vocals are stellar throughout, switching between sneering and soaring whilst maintaining a distinctive Britishness that sets Alkahest apart from easy transatlantic comparisons and gives them a sound all their own. Four of the five tracks are perfectly balanced slabs of dynamic rock and roll, showcasing clear songwriting ability and more than enough potential to sit alongside the smattering of progressive British bands currently making waves like Black Peaks and Press To Meco.

The only thing letting this release down is the track ‘Home’, which is the very definition of a slow-burner. The track clocks in at just over seven minutes but nothing really happens for the first five, and whilst the monolithic, verging on post-metal payoff is fantastic when it finally happens it just doesn’t justify the time it took to get there. A track like this would benefit from the breathing room of a full-length release, but on a five track EP it disrupts the momentum.

Overall though, this is a stellar release that works far more often than it doesn’t, and contains more than enough hooks to lodge itself in peoples’ minds. The talent on show is unquestionable, and with a little focus and tweaking, Alkahest could really make an impact.

LIAM KNOWLES

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