Two years ago, I wrote about Alchemy of Flesh, a new death metal band on the scene. The solo project of Tim Rowland, Alchemy of Flesh was conceived to play the kind of death metal that Rowland wanted to hear and play, namely in the vein of the classic Florida scene. Their debut album, Ageless Abominations, was a total killer of an album: refreshingly true to its influences while going a step beyond complete worship.
Alchemy of Flesh’s sophomore album, titled By Will Alone, picks up in a similar place; Morbid Angel are still the predominant influence on the band but there are other inspirations present, with Rowland citing Angelcorpse, Monstrosity and Hate Eternal as three. Whereas Ageless Abominations defaulted to a low-tuned, chugging style of death metal, By Will Alone is a noticeably faster and more-demanding album; the riffs take center stage and the drumming is pretty bonkers too.
Lyrically, Rowland was inspired by Eastern spirituality and by video games, namely Doom and Amnesia.
“This album, both musically and a large part lyrically, is rooted in the strength that can be self-willed if we desire to raise ourselves above the limitations we voluntarily set on our own potential,” the musician tells Decibel. “More frequently than we’d like, life sometimes hands us its inevitable sufferings and alters our comfortable state of being. We can either, all too easily, rest in that misery, or use the pain as a fuel to push ourselves to a higher plane. This album was the latter for me. It showed me that we have much more strength in our spirit than we give ourselves credit for. Aside from the storm of its emotional and spiritual undercurrents, this album was physically something that took an enormous amount of will to accomplish as well. I really wanted to push myself, on the performance front, beyond what I did with the first album and I wanted to expand the sound a bit more and explore new sonic horizons. There’s definitely a lot more variety on By Will Alone than the first album, which I guess was inevitable due to the chaotic frame of mind I was in at the time of its inception. Though most of the songs lyrically explore much more deeper and spiritual topics than the last album, I still managed to squeeze in a few video game themes as usual, such as classic Doom and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I can’t seem get away from it!”
You can listen to By Will Alone right now—you’d be a fool not to. The album is out this Friday, November 17, on Redefining Darkness.