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Alchemist, Model 101 - Power play from Down Under
I don't think that I've ever travelled more than four hours to visit a concert, but to see Model 101 - the band that features our Metalrage reporters/friends DemonDust, Lukie and Qlaw - live I just had to descend all the way to Geleen to experience some serious erotic rhythmical groove metal (or however it's been called in their recently published demo review). I got company from Bastian Blackrain who rejoined Metalrage after his absence for a year. It was his first gig in approximately two years, resulting in a big review of main act Alchemist.

At exactly 10.00 PM the deejay turned the stereo off: time for
Model 101 to enter the stage for its second gig in their current line-up! I've got to admit that due my spot closely to the stage I didn't see much of the crowd's reaction, but Model kicked in pretty heavy with their hard to follow polyrhythms. The tone was set even more when singer Remco jumped off the platform that was obviously too small for a band that is used to explode when they play live. Remco really delivered a great performance; his throat was superb while he brings his lyrics with a lot of passion. Add his funny comments between the songs and you've got a great frontman. Also drummer Richie was in excellent condition, he proved that he's able to play their (with a drumcomputer recorded) demo stuff flawless live. Furthermore I was very satisfied with the audible volume of the electronic intros and intermezzos. I see that I'm not very objective here but I don't care really. Model 101 is just a great band with a lot of talent. I wonder if they can make it in front of a bigger public because of the fore mentioned difficult rhythms, but be sure to give them a chance. (Mindsaver)

I'd never have expected that a band of Alchemist fame would play in a venue as small as Ed & Rocco's. Yet, they did.

While Model 101 were dragging their stuff off the stage, I was enjoying a cool beverage, anxiously waiting for Alchemist to appear. It actually took quite some time before the roadies had set the impressive amount of equipment up. This particularly small roadie with glasses and his long hair tied in a ponytail took a lot of time to set up the guitar sound and electronics. I think it took them a good half hour (if not longer) to finally be satisfied with the sound. I had only heard one song of the band on my computer so far. It had made me curious as to what Alchemist would sound like live.

Since I'd only seen one band photo from a considerable distance, it wasn't hard to imagine why I was slightly surprised that the abovementioned roadie didn't leave the stage, but instead took off his glasses, untied his hair, equipped himself with a guitar and took place behind a microphone. He turned out to be none other than Adam Agius, the band's vocalist/guitarist. Not long after he was joined by the other band members, Alchemist was set to kick off.

These charismatic Australians manage to forge a cocktail of electronical psychedelia and a healthy dose of heavy riffing into a balanced, yet complicated feast of seven courses. This should already implicate that their music isn't comprehended in one single night; for most of us who aren't familiar with their studio work, a live show as explosive as this one and with a lot of elements crammed into it might be hard to digest all at once. Such was the case for the bigger lot of the audience tonight, except for one female fan the band themselves brought along with them. The enthusiasm of her energetic head banging didn't last for long, though. After the second song, which I think they called 'Wrapped In Guilt', the crowd still didn't respond that well. The female fan bluntly (and loudly) accused the crowd of being 'boring motherfuckers', something which I found quite amusing.

Although the band's music was well-constructed, it didn't quite succeed in arousing the crowd, except for a few dedicated fans. So-called 'head bang moments' were scarce and a few 'psychedelic' intermezzos were quite painful to my hearing when the small keyboard produced high tones. The one thing that really impressed me were Adam's vocals during heavy riffs. From out of nowhere, his raw voice would switch to a high-pitched screaming which miraculously appeared from somewhere underneath of that small man's skin. That is one hell of a throat, I tell you. By now, drops of sweat pearled down the guitars of Roy and Adam. Talk about intensive guitar play!

At the end of their performance, Alchemist thanked the crowd for their support. 'Holland in general makes us feel very at home', vocalist Adam exclaimed. Somehow, I don't believe he meant that, even though they gave away a kick-ass performance. I guess the Dutch crowd present at that time wasn't quite ready yet for what the creative minds of these cheerful blokes from down-under have to offer. A shame, really.

On a side note, the swimming pool in the men's room was everything but refreshing. Next time, I'm going to bring swimming shorts and disinfection spray.

Oh, and ear protection.
(Bastian Blackrain)