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The Dark Esoteric Magick of Lord Djinn - 93%

bayern, July 15th, 2017

When the album reviewed here came out, there was barely a handful of fans who knew that Melechesh had actually produced a first showing five years earlier, a tribute to the booming at the time second wave of black metal. The bombastic, hyper-blasting layout of the debut is sparsely felt here, though, as the band had either gotten wiser or more musically proficient, or had decided to create the perfect antidote to their initial hyper-active feats.

The moment the intro “Whispers from the Tower” enchants everyone with its Oriental acoustics, bringing all the mysteries of the Middle East right at your front door, there will be no end to the magick here which becomes more complexly woven by “Genies, Sorcerers, and Mesopotamian Nights”, a supreme epic doomy hymn with jumpy Oriental motifs and more dramatic build-ups served later, the infernal witch-like vocals trying their utmost to keep the album within the black metal confines, to no avail. “A Summoning of Ifrit and Genii” is more officiant with surreal funereal atmosphere settling in gradually, the latter dissipated by the more brutal blast-beats on “Wardjinn”, the only more obvious reminder of the style on the debut. After this relatively short outburst of aggression comes ”Rub the Lantern”, a sombre Oriental doomster with rhythmic leaps and bounds galore those turned into a beautiful diverse “symphony” on “Covering the Sun” which provides several faster-paced sections amongst the infectious melodic tunes. “Kurnugi’s Reign” acquires slightly more conventional structures the rhythm-section still seductively bouncy with melodies provided more amply now before “Oasis of Molten Gold” arrives with all the blasting grandeur it can summon from Mesopotamian mythology the guys even attempting something thrashy for a change, to these ears for the better, the aggressive riffage working fine in team with the ever-present melodic tunes. “Dragons Legacy” is a contrasting blend of pacifying doomy motifs and fast intense strokes this symbiosis given a more serious, progressive flair on “The Siege of Lachish”, a fabulous epic with some of the most bewitching melodies ever put on vinyl, the “raven” behind the mike nicely supported by cleaner choral lines; expect impetuous thrashing again in league with loads of Oriental jumps and jolts creating a lot of dynamics as a finishing touch.

Ever since the band’s compatriots Salem brought the Oriental touch to metal quite a few years ago, both the fanbase and the practitioners have been savouring those tunes, and the latter have been trying to apply them to the more or less rigid metal structure with varying degrees of success. Still, it’s those that came from those areas who did it, and still do, the best the sole exception being Nile. Orphaned Land, Amaseffer, Myrath (Tunisia)… I guess you have to be immersed in the local culture, to have lived in this environment before you’re fully able to pull it off… I don’t know. Melechesh were already fully equipped to mesmerize everyone with their musical magick five years back, but their desire to be placed within the black metal stipulations kind of overwrote their more individual strives on the debut. It was hard to stifle those sparkles of creativity any longer, and here they receive most royal treatment transcending all borders between genres the way Orphaned Land, and even Salem if you like, did before them. This is one encompassing Middle Eastern metal opera which pulls you in, and presents you with a different perspective as to what metal should sound like. Well it’s the new millennium, after all, and there are no more surprises whatsoever when it comes to music so what else is left for the audience but to embrace another trend that on top of that sounds quite attractive and esoteric; I can see quite a few budding magicians weaving their spells using the songs here as a most appropriate soundtrack…

Yes, it was a new millennium started, and our friends felt perfectly at home with their appealing brand of metal. What they had to do now was to consolidate their status as auteurs within the metal circles. And they wasted no time releasing “Sphynx”, another masterpiece which brought more from the less restrained swagger of the debut, but all was well as the band kept very good balance between the two sides. “Emissaries” continued in the same direction by lessening the speed impact and increasing the progressive, also more atmospheric, elaborations, setting the tone for the next two instalments. A force to be reckoned with on the field after all the hard work invested, these Djinns from the East have all the rights to bring whatever ancient, mystical deities they like to the attention of the always hungry for esoteric knowledge metal fanbase, especially when they’re evoked with the most fitting musical accompaniment.