This album was a surprise-I expected fairly standard black metal with the occasional eastern influence here and there-kind of a black metal version of Nile. I definitely wasn’t expecting anything as accomplished or original as this. The eastern influences are prominent, and they’re not just stuck in there; they actually direct the course of the music in a very basic way. A lot of the credit goes to the guitarist-he’s got a style all his own, churning out really diverse and complex black metal riffs that even veer into experimental territory at times, with some really cool chords. The riffs are very metal, but they have a kind of snake-like catchiness that is uniquely eastern. Proscriptor, the drummer, is of course also a great asset, coming up with all kinds of diverse drum patterns. The first 4 or 5 songs are excellent, before the album bogs down for a little while with a few less-than-great songs (that nonetheless are still pretty good) before it picks up again at the end. The only thing that keeps me from giving this 5 stars is the production, which leaves some annoying background white-noise (probably the remains of the bass, which is almost totally inaudible throughout) in some of the first few songs. Overall, though, one of the most interesting albums I’ve heard in black metal (and in metal in general, for that matter).
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Proscriptor is the King. If you’re a drummer, you have to listen to some of his work. Get this and some Absu, one of his other projects. I swear, sometimes his drums are enough to kick in that feeling of transportation only the best music gives you.
Of course, on this album, most of the time he is playing along to very adventurous and playful riffing. Melechesh has the speed and vocals of black metal, but still come off as thrashy, or just ‘brilliant’.
The lyrics are about the true creators of earth and man and all that:
“Rites of ill winds, burning the awareness path
Rites of Dingir never to be for mankind
In the maze of the dome it shall be sealed
The secrets of sphynxology will never be revealed
Nebiru ground of the olden rise
Dunes of the formers cipher the cries
My favorite here is probably Annunaki’s Golden Thrones, because of ‘that riff part’. You will know when you hear it.
I never get tired of the precision and passion of Melechesh’s attack. Many metal bands have utilized middle eastern melodies and rhythms in their music, but these guys are truly the real deal. Nothing really more needs to be said about this album except that I don’t think Melechesh have achieved the recognition they deserve. I’m sure if they lived Stateside or in England, they could increase their exposure but living in Israel may complicate matters in regards to their touring.
That said, get this album if you like true metal. Even Djinn, their last album is excellent as well. Just wait until their next release, I’ll bet it’s going to be a monster.
this is one of the best metal releases i’ve heard in a long while.the drumming in particular is top-notch.I will be buying their entire catalog.
Melechesh as you may know features a heavily Assyrian / Meopotamian / Babylonian theme, and as such draw frequent thematic comparisons to Nile. While Nile are quickly becoming gods of death metal, Melechesh remain more obscure black metal. However, the comparisons are legitimate for more esoteric reasons. Both feature an approach to song structure and aesthetic that stays bound to varying degrees to the musical (or at least percieved) traditions of the heritage they are invoking. Both feature some members from the general area of the ancient world they hail (Nile’s first drummer was from Oman and Melechesh’s guitarist and bassist are from Israel). Both include rhytmic and lyrical references to the cultures they invoke as well.Melechesh does this with synccopated backbeats with a decidedly modern metal flare, some interestingly middle-eastern-sounding guitar work without the pitch bends that creates a slightly off-kilter rhythmic speed-picking that suits the aesthetic well, and melodies and harmonies of the evocative natural harmonic minor scale and mixolyidan modes as well as perfect 4th and 5th harmonies. These spices of music are made more ‘metal palpable’ with the usual dose of typical Slayer-beats, blast beats, more traditional riffs and solo work, and a more mid-paced feel that the band’s previous efforts.For those of you who don’t know, this features USBM legend Absu’s Proscriptor on drums and vocals. His drumwork here is relaxed and appropriate, but not as polyrhythmic or insane as Nile’s. In fact, only songs 2, 6, and 8 feature much in the way of decipherable ‘middle-eastern’ drum synccopation, and in these songs it is effective, but simple. Track 1 is interesting in it’s chaotic structure; definitely the most death-metal influenced track on the CD. This mix of rhythmic approaches fits the overall music well, but then again it is not a blistering powerhouse of technicality.This is not traditional black metal at all, in fact it sounds more heavy metal or thrash except for the screaming rasping black metal vocals. However, this is definitely worh listening to for metal fans looking for something unique.