Origin: Israel Netherlands
Genre: Folk Black Metal Folk Death Metal Thrash Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
The founders of Mesopotamian black metal are back with their fifth full-length album. Through the years this band has created a “good” name, so they don’t need any introduction. The term black metal isn’t the best to describe them anymore, since the band is constantly changing its style after the second album “Djinn”. They now have a more mainstream sound with a thrash and death metal approach. Of course there are still some black metal elements in their music, but not so often anymore. What hasn’t changed at all, is the “Middle Eastern folk” orientation of their music. On the contrary, it’s more dominant than ever!
“The Epigenesis” is a brilliant album! Even if I usually prefer folk music combined with black metal, I must admit that this is the best and most professional work of Melechesh ever. The band managed to compose a middle-eastern folk album with the help of metal instruments. It’s not metal with folk influences, but a metal version of eastern folk music. Mesopotamian and Sumerian myths and legends are becoming alive through Melechesh’s unique compositions. Even if the production and overall sound is much better than before (actually they are perfect!) you can easily recognize their characteristic sound! Oriental scales and tunes are deeply penetrating their music and the whole song structures are built upon them. Most of the time the band plays at mid tempo, with some more atmospheric slower parts, as well as some faster outbursts. Guitars have a heavy and solid sound, while their oriental riffs are really unique! The band had a composing orgasm! So many riffs of the highest quality… The drums remind of ancient desert rituals, while the brilliant use of folk instruments helps the band to create a more authentic dark oriental atmosphere and connects them with the roots of their music.
There is something really magical with this album. Maybe it’s the fact that it was recorded in Constantinopolis (Istanbul), a city with unique surroundings and history! It was a very unusual choice for a studio, but it definitely helped the band to capture an outstanding atmosphere in “The Epigenesis”. What is different from most “folk” metal bands is that the traditional instruments are not used to carry out all the lead folk melodies, but most of the time they are separate from the guitars and they are used in the more atmospheric acoustic parts. Actually they could have removed them at all and still sound more “folk” than most bands of the genre! Ashmedi’s screaming vocals are once again in perfect balance with the music, while their lyrics deal with mythological Sumerian Mesopotamian themes. There are two long instrumental acoustic tracks, where the band reveals a very mystical, almost tribal approach…
“The Epigenesis” is totally recommended to every metal fan and it’s a must have for all Melechesh fans and folk metal lovers in general. For me this album is simply PERFECT. It is released by Nuclear Blast and it comes with John Coulthart’s amazing cover artwork and a minimal black booklet with the lyrics. You can get a small taste of the new album in the links below.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos