Vancouver (BC) – Canadian neoclassical instrumental metal band ALCHEMY CHAMBER have released their debut full-length album, Opus I: Subtle Movements from Within.
Purchase and/or stream the album in its entirety.
Two official videos for songs from the album are available now. Check ’em out below!
“No. 1 (Dedicated to Doug Gorkoff)”
Built around cello and saxophone duets, ALCHEMY CHAMBER is an eclectic mix of genres, featuring captivating melodies intertwined with complex rhythms in a purely instrumental arrangement. The unique sound of the band, which combines heavy riffs and expressive contrapuntal melodic lines, is influenced by classical composers as well as metal bands of various genres.
The songs have numbers instead of names, and the album is referred to as an “Opus” to reflect the classical side and influences of the music. The order truly is chronological, which means the songs on the album appear in the order they were written. Composition No. 1 is dedicated to Doug Gorkoff who has been Anna’s cello teacher for the last 10 years and played a significant role in her becoming the musician she is today. This album is meant to take you through the band’s creative development and let you experience the continuous thought process the musicians were going through at the time and changes in the flow of ideas as the time passed. Lyric-less, but not voiceless, the album is designed to encourage one’s own interpretation of the music while also telling a story about it’s own birth between the lines.
1. No. 1 (dedicated to Doug Gorkoff)
2. No. 2
3. No. 3
4. No. 4
5. No. 5
6. No. 6
7. No. 7
8. No. 8
9. No. 9
10. No. 10
Anna Kuchkova – cello
Kevin Arland – saxophone
Ashar Kazi – guitar
Zenon Shandro – bass
Julia Geaman – drums
Composition: Anna Kuchkova
All drum parts are written by Julia Geaman
Guitar Part in No. 10 is written by Mehmet Turan
Solos in No. 4 and No. 8 are written by respective players
Acoustic guitar and rain in No. 6 by Kyle Anderson
Recording by Kyle Anderson (Blue Light Studio) & Mark Mckitrick (Rain City Recorders)
Mixing by Kyle Anderson
Mastering by Greg Mindorf (Suite Sound Labs)
Artwork by Eugenia Bathoriya
Artwork modification and album layout by Mehmet Turan
Beginnings and core members: Cello, Saxophone.
Alchemy Chamber is a neo-classical instrumental metal band led by Anna Kuchkova (cello & composition), along with Kevin Arland (saxophone).
It was founded in December 2012 by Anna who had always had a vision for such project and has finally decided to arrange the first few original cello duets for the band. She has invited Kevin, whom she’d known from past projects, to collaborate. With the addition of the saxophone, the compositions gained a whole new unique colour.
Anna is a classically trained cellist, an active member of the West Coast Symphony Orchestra and chamber musician. In the past she played principal cello in New Westminster Symphony Orchestra, and was a session cellist for various recording projects and live events in Vancouver BC. For years, Anna has also been involved in rock and metal scene. These two completely different worlds intertwine in her approach to composition.
Kevin, Capilano graduate, has played in horn sections for most of his life. He’s a member of the South Van Big Band and different jazz groups in Vancouver. He performed with Grammy winning Puerto Rican salsa projects and was a musician on a cruise ship traveling all the way through Asia into Europe. Kevin was not very familiar with the concept of symphonic metal, but liked Anna’s writing and the fact that the project was purely instrumental.
While Kevin and Anna remain the core and the face of the band, musicians that have been recruited along the way, contributed a great deal to the project and helped shape the sound into what it is today.
Julia Geaman has been Alchemy Chamber’s drummer since early 2013. She shared responsibilities as a regular member for some time, until recently when her position changed to semi-permanent. Julia is a drum teacher and clinician, drummer in the band Revenger and a session drummer who loves to explore new styles, meet other musicians and travel. After familiarizing herself with Anna’s music, she worked hard on creating drum parts that would fit such odd style and instrumentation. Julia’s creativity and open-minded approach made a big difference for the band and the new album Opus I: Subtle Movements From Within.
The band’s first guitarist Mehmet Turan, who recorderded on the band’s first EP Opus I Excerpt, not only participated in composition, but also designed the band’s logo and helped with artwork.The most recent guitarist Ashar Kazi recorded on the new album. He added tasteful solos and fine details to his parts and put a lot of time and effort into making this happen.
Alchemy Chamber’s first bassist Marco Restagno, was a Capilano student. An aspiring young musician with great skills and taste, he was the one to record bass on the EP.
The current bass player Zenon Shandro was first recruited as a one-time sesion bassist for a NYE show in the end of 2015. He, however, really liked the music and has been Alchemy Chamber’s semi-permanent bassist ever since.
With the help of everyone mentioned (and more), Alchemy Chamber is bringing dark moods and gothic beauty into carefully created classic scores. The wordless, purely instrumental expression of the wide spectrum of human emotions, bringin into focus the dakr, somber, undiscovered side of one’s self, leaves the compositions open for interpretation, encourages introspective reflection, and lets every listener find their own meaning in the music.