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.