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The Last Inklings The Last Inklings
Album: Alchemy
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 5

Alchemy the art of transformation, most prominently associated with turning base metal into gold, but there was always more to it than that. Ink the medium used to transform words and thoughts into documents, the pen mightier that the sword.

I could also mention the phoenix using fire to turn the old into new, to shape new beginnings, but not without a connection to that that had gone before it. The Last Inklings, Leonardo MacKenzine and David Hoyland were born out of the ashes of Kadia, but with a new creative manifesto and I use the word manifesto advisedly.

There has always been a mystery that sits in the human conscious, but which doesn't always leave a mark on the landscape. In the 21st century answers sit at your fingertip and yet myth and legend prevail and The Last Inklings are there to give it a hand, to put trolls back under the bed, in their own words.

"Alchemy" is the debut EP and it lays down quite a marker. The EP starts with a track about the practitioner rather than the art, but pretty soon it's clear that this is a record that draws on the same places that inspired the likes of Tolkien, Shakespeare and Jung and is every bit as good with the words, though in a very different way, maybe if Tolkien and Jung had formed a folk duo….

Dorset's very own alchemist was Conjuring Minterne, who also talked about communing with bees, an art far older than the man himselves tale, and as a group the bees are very much into transformation, both in their own lifecycle as well as turning nectar to honey, the base into gold, another inspiration to make it to the album.

Philosophy and manifesto have a habit of being left of the shelf, bought with good intention, but often a bit heavy and not necessarily the most exciting read you'll ever have, fortunately the same cannot be said of "Alchemy" which is both entertaining and captivating and also manages to hide some of the thoughts away in the corner, so there's lots to come back to for reward time and again.

I've been fortunate enough to see the duo live, something we may not be able to do for a while, and can affirm that The Last Inklings really have captured their spirit in this release and it's definitely worth you taking your time for. Conjuring Minterne leapt a church on a fiery steed to prove himself, all you need to do is pop to the duos website and make an order.

Neil King