I almost feel that I was excessively strict with the rating when The Malkuth Grimoire were “only” awarded 5 points. The majority of the album is superb, but with a total duration of 73 minutes, it requires no small effort for all the material to working as optimal.
The “super group” is back with not just a natural, but also a quite direct continuation.
As elaborated in connection with The Malkuth Grimoire, Alkaloid consists of experienced veterans in the extreme metal scene, exclusively. The line-up of the quintet was presented two years ago, and is still stable, so there's no need for repetitions. We can nevertheless restate that everybody is professional to the hilt. For those not familiar with the band or the debut; the Germans play a kind of technical/progressive extreme metal with singular idiosyncrasy, substance and soul.
On Liquid Anatomy, connoisseurs will recognize a number of recurring themes from the debut. Some songs use melody lines and technical means from the previous album to such an extent that at first listen, it feels as if they could just as well be named after their kindred spirits on the debut. Particularly the sequence from 1:50 in Chaos Theory and Practice, followed by an Electric Funeral-esque melody line, gives flashback and déjà vu to the song Dyson Sphere - I. Mining the Oorth Cloud.
This contributes to a bit of a challenge of getting the hang of Liquid Anatomy during the first fumbling attempt, as the song material initially gave a bigger craving for revisiting The Malkuth Grimoire than for exploring the sequel. Fortunately, this feeling did eventually let go when the sophomore album gradually developed a life of its own, and assumed its own identity.
Simply said, we find everything from full throttle to soaring parts, all performed with brilliant guitar lines, via peculiar rhythms and astonishing effects, crowned with distinctive cleans and dazzling bass lines. The expression alone gives a unique character that demands respect. The music has a myriad of details. Notice, for instance, the eccentric transition between 8:50 and 9:00 in Rise of the Cephalopods. Among progressive death metal bands, few or no band stand out with as much distinct signature as Alkaloid. When the band once again flex compositional muscles, it forms the basis for the most blatant of recommendations. Rating: 5+