Alkahest’s new EP 2 (out 23rd November) is the culmination of two years’ worth of writing, recording and gigging with an ever-evolving band line-up. Helmed as a collaborative solo project, Alkahest’s lynchpin, Amelia Pereira thrives on sonic evolution, no one Alkahest gig is the same, line-ups revolve, and songs take on new guises, and it’s this aural freedom that permeates 2.
Like a caged animal, Alkahest push the confines of the recorded format with 2, theirs is the sound of progressive rock taking on dizzying new heights; brutality and chaos share the same union as serenity and stillness, where a pummelling riff can easily be followed by a pocket of nothingness. An eerie horror-movie-like hum announces 2, before exploding into Elusive Physical Beast, a statement of intent if you have ever heard one – a dextrous guitar assault is framed by thunderous drumming and it’s the first taste of Alkahest’s relentless assault. The Few is a ragged riff attack that jerks from wanton savagery to stop-start rhythms and back again; slightly darker in-tone, the pockets of quiet act as gasoline to the track’s fire once a squalling guitar revs up for another round of dirty riffage. Cloak and Question demonstrates Alkahest’s deft knack for control, where caustic prog-rock collides with pools of calm. Like the tracks before, Cloak and Question’s scale is huge. Home opts for a slow-burning release, as Pereira’s voice is framed by a fragile, echoed guitar line; the crescendo gathers pace, as the EP’s rawest moment gradually transforms from vulnerable and exposed to expansive and colossal. 2 is brought to a rollicking close by Sunken Sea’s fidgeting blast of mathy-riffs and clattered drums – this is Alkahest unleashed – prowling like a gigantic alt-rock colossus.
While 2 packs a mighty punch when it comes to ferocious progressive rock, thematically the EP touches on very human topics, such as mental health, battling with memory loss, staunch anti-war rhetoric and the loss of Pereira’s father at a young age.
2 is an emotionally raw, sonic juggernaut.
2 EP Information:
- Elusive Physical Beast
- The Few
- Cloak and Question
- Sunken Sea
Guitars, percussion, synths and voice: Amelia Pereira
Cymbals and drums: Colin Powers
Music written by Alkahest: Amelia Pereira, Colin Powers and Harry Williams
Words written by Amelia Pereira
Tracks 2 and 5 co-written with Tom Tepler
Track 3 co-written with Matt Woolman-Alexander
Words on track 4 co-written with Nicholas Woodland
Recorded and mixed by Ben Turner at Joe’s Garage and Playpen
Drums recorded by Harry Williams at Cargo
Mastered by Joe Caithness at Subsequent Mastering
Drum tech and additional engineering by Andrew Horseman
Photography by Kate Feast
Produced by Ben Turner and Alkahest
2 EP comes in three formats: standard CD, digital download and pre-order only CD package including limited edition merchandise. Both physical versions feature artwork that is unique to each copy of the EP. Pre-order here: https://alkahest43.bandcamp.com/album/2-2
2 EP will be launched at The Mothers’ Ruin in Bristol, 23rd November with support from Downard, Leathers, Gavin Leesam, Shark Logic and Mothcode.