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Australia and hard rock certainly go hand in hand -- after all, the land down under has spawned such "manly" acts over the years as AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and Radio Birdman, among countless others (eh, perhaps best to skip over Silverchair). But the continent best known for kangaroos, koalas, Foster's Lager, and Crocodile Dundee is not exactly renowned as a chief prog metal or death metal import -- yet the technically proficient quintet Alchemist originated from Canberra, Australia. Long including elements from both aforementioned metal subgenres, Alchemist unleashed their sixth full-length overall, Tripsis, in 2007. Loaded with tricky bits and heavily "textured" metal, Tripsis will probably not be most headbangers' first choice to crank on their stereo while getting ready to raise hell on a Friday night. However, for those who welcome challenging extreme metal, Tripsis is loaded with goodies, especially such ditties as "Wrapped in Guilt" and "Nothing in No Time." Overall, a worthy metallic amalgam.

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