"Alchemy" By Meytal (Los Angeles, CA)/Metal/Released July 2015
In less than a decade YouTube become a staple of pop culture. With its ease of use anyone could upload a video and have it be shared and viewed millions of times thanks to the power of the internet. The website’s more savvy content creators release regular, quality content and have become stars with millions of followers. With that kind of internet following many look to translate that success into other mediums and musicians are many among that number.
Israeli born, California transplant Meytal Cohen began uploading drum cover videos to her YouTube channel in 2010 following a 2009 cover video of System of a Down’s “Toxicity” featuring electric violinists going viral. Over time she became one of the most subscribed drummers on the site with over one million subscriptions as of this writing. With the help of that fan base she began a Kickstarter campaign to record original music and tour with her eponymous band’s debut album “Alchemy” being the result.
Meytal plays a melodic form of alternative metal that’s akin to the likes of Stone Sour, Sevendust, and Breaking Benjamin. Cohen’s percussion talents are on full display in every song with the rhythmic, djent-styled guitar work giving her plenty of room to shine. Front man Eric Emery is also a stand out talent on the album with his powerful vocals being a driving force throughout the record.
Alchemy is very well produced with sound quality that fits right in with anything heard on large market radio. The instrumentation is crystal clear but not overproduced to where it loses its power. The writing level is top notch with any song picked at random liable to be a radio hit. Most of the songs have an anthemic quality to them that makes for powerful live shows and plenty of opportunity for the audience to sing along. Tracks like “Nothing” and “Shadow In Disguise” are strong examples of this with their balance of metal grooves and melodic, catchy choruses. “Everybody Hates You Now” is likely the most “djenty” song of the album with the lead guitar riff being as much of an earworm as the call and response chorus. Closing track “Tear Me Apart” is the most aggressive track with uptempo guitar work, frantic percussion, and a scream peppered breakdown. Ra vocalist and producer of the album Sahaj Ticotin provides the vocals for Alchemy’s softest track “Behind These Walls” which showcases the band’s ability for melody and that Cohen can reign in her busy drum work to fit a less aggressive song.
Meytal Cohen and her namesake band have accomplished an impressive balancing act of a first album. Aggressive enough for the die hard metal fans while still being radio friendly enough to be accessible to most rock listeners. All while keeping the cheese far away. Big choruses worthy of Linkin Park or Chevelle anchor the album and can provide a gateway to many non metal fans to find something to like about the genre. Meytal has accomplished a sound with quality that many of their mainstream contemporaries and even some of their big name predecessors either lack or have lost with all aspects being polished to a mirror shine. With Alchemy reaching number one on the Billboard Heatseekers chart the future looks bright for both Meytal and the rock world at large.