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Original style - 85%

natrix, April 18th, 2004

This is a solid effort from the first Palestinian band I have ever heard. While I do agree that a lot of bands have used a lot of the oriental melodies to an extreme, Melechesh is a hell of a lot better at doing this than most, probably because they are from a culture where this is imbedded in their minds from an early age. Also, they don't just use the melodies. Instead, they base their riffs and drum beats around them, which makes Melechesh quite original. There a lot more agressive than most "ethnic" band, as well.
"Genies, Sorcerors and Mesopotamian Nights" is a great way to start the album, because this shows their riffing and drum patterns right away. Other great songs are "Rub the Lantern," "Dragon's Legacy" (cool ethnic solo in here) and "Oasis of Molten Gold." I only don't care for "Siege of Lachish" which is pretty lazy sounding, and doesn't really go anywhere.
The drumming on here is definately commendable. Proscriptor tosses in tons of fills and really solid, powerful beats. On a sad note, he does use a lot of blast beats on "Wardjinn" and "Oasis of Molten Gold," which kind of diminish the power of the music.
Production is a double edged sword on this album. I think it's great for a black metal band to have a strong guitar tone, and Melechesh certainly does. It's meaty without being typical down-tuned slop, and you can hear a lot of the nuances that they're playing. The vocals and lead guitars, however, get buried a bit. While they don't do too much stuff with the leads, the vocals NEED to be louder. Sometimes it sounds like Ashmeidi is whispering over the band. This is not good.