Vera : Melechesh, kings of Mesopotamian metal – origin Jerusalem, but now spread over the globe – did no less than eight tours after the release of ’The Epigenesis’, their Nuclear Blast debut in 2010. On top of that it was a come and go in the band since 2013, that’s why the five years of patience we had to have might be obvious. Main man Ashmedi however remained inspired to compose constantly, so that the sixth studio album ‘Enki’ can be launched at the world late February. This time he got assistance from drummer Lord Curse, who wasn’t heard on a record anymore since the debut ‘As Jerusalem Burns… Al’Intisar’, guitarist Moloch also returned for the studio work and as new force we can mention the American Scorpios on bass, but the man has a studio in Germany as well, the place where the band currently rehearses and did some recordings.
It has been a long, yet fruitful process with the lion’s share of recordings in Greece where Ashmedi produced the music together with George Bokos at the Grindhouse Studios. Mix and mastering were done by Jonas Kjellgren at the Black Lounge Studios in Sweden. As you see, no stone was left unturned to do justice to the multilayered, complex thrash/black metal with oriental influences. And it paid off, since heaviness and refinement go hand in hand during this breathtaking musical journey. Still we discover new details with every spin. With lyrics one may call a metaphoric puzzle, situated between Sumerian mythology, spirituality and cruel reality, ‘Enki’ offers an intelligent reflective view and food for thought (you can read more about that in our interview).
This time the music was rooted in feelings of rage and anger about the way of the world. There is almost a menacing, uneasy feel in the descending guitar patterns of opener ‘Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged’, followed by fervent black metal fury, relished with any dark spoken fragments and quiescent eastern sounds. This pent-up rage is ventilated again in ‘The Pendulum Speaks’ and ‘Lost Tribes’ in which Max Cavalera (Soulfly, Killer Be Killed, etc.) added any shouts as first eminent guest appearance. ‘Multiple Truth’ has – in despite of its heaviness - a kind of fetching allures in its momentum and mid-paced riffs. This pinch of catchiness can also be found in ‘The Palm The Eye And Lapis Lazuli’, where leads of guest guitarist Rob Caggiano (Anthrax) are catchy accents in the swirling sea of aggression. But of course, the true extra dimension is the oriental atmosphere and ethnic instruments used in a wonderful manner. This is masterly illustrated in the epic, nearly nine minutes long ‘Enki Divine Nature Awoken’, because the Mediterranean atmosphere is brought to a higher level in a performance of Ashmedi together with his friend Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ right here. And yet it is most of all instrumental skilfulness – the use of 12-string guitars and even tuned to 432Hz – that makes this album as brilliant as it is. Towards the end it is illustrated by the acoustic, instrumental ‘Doorways To Irkala’ as meditative intermezzo and the second lengthy track ‘The Outsiders’ which excels in a feeling of grandness and it is captivating by its repetitive rhythm patterns. This is another highlight to occlude and all this on an album that once again proves that Melechesh has an endless talent to unite different worlds in personal art.