|©2002 Sound Riot Records
1. Faced (intro)
2. A Nailed Visual Effect
3. Down Again
4. Incurable Longing
5. Approach (Open The Shell)
6. Intervening Coma-celebration
8. Psyche And A Flower To The New Lifetime
9. Minds Delusion Sleeps For Creation
10. Solemn And Sophisticated
11. Under My Shallow Skin
12. Snap Up The Raw Of Existence
Can't stand the symphonic, black metal influenced hordes that are currently dominating the European metal scene? Why, if that's the case, I do suggest checking out the Evil Boggles of Panda-Hell or whatever the latest raw black metal releases are because Grand Alchemist will do nothing but make you break out in hives. Fact is that Intervening Come-Celebration is a keyboard soaked, slightly gothy affair that you'll either love for its sheer pompous, overblown approach or hate for precisely the same reason.
This Norwegian outfit dwells within the same territory as perhaps Borknagar around The Archaic Course mixed in with a healthy dose of Finnish sympho-blacko metal (Throes of Dawn, for instance). Grand Alchemist could also be dubbed "Grand Arcturus" with their emphasis on sprinkly, twinkly keyboards that provide the lion's share of melody and song focus. Now that I think about it, this band could also be The Kovenant without the Rammstein angle and silly costumes. Granted, much of what they're doing has been done into the dirt by many other scowling lads but Grand Alchemist does it just well enough to come across as adorable. Pinch them on the cheek because their songs often are quite catchy and despite traipsing through song ideas that you've heard in many other incarnations, bouncy and enjoyable. Even their grandiose song titles are endearing. Their singer does your basic alternating clean and growly vocals, just to add the icing on the cake.
Far from original and not recommended for those who expect a little more originality from their music. Grand Alchemist is more than competent at what they do and offer a very solid release with one caveat: you must be a frothing, drooling fanatic for symphonic gray metal before you can tolerate this. Those who have seizures at the mere thought of the term "symphonic" should probably stray into other pastures.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 04/2003