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Singularity - 86%

Felix 1666, September 8th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2006, CD, Osmose Productions

To forge a good metal album is no rocket science, even though legions of bands have never recorded an output which was at least deemed acceptable. I don't mention names in this context, because I don't intend to offend Pantera, Sabaton or Manowar. However, formations who know how to write a lacerating riff or who are able to generate an enormous intensity fulfill important requirements and one thing is for sure, we find Melechesh on the right side of the battlefield. The horde from the Middle East does not only score in terms of riffing and intensity, but these two elements constitute very stable pillars of "Emissaries". With that said, there is not much that can go wrong with regard to the album from 2006.

Melechesh convey an oriental feeling, some of their riffs reflect a mix of endless deserts, hot temperature and strange odours. The hateful and diabolic nagging of the lead vocalist leaves no doubt that the listener has entered a hostile territory. Especially violent bombardments like "Double Helixed Sceptre" or "Deluge of Delusional Dreams" underline the animosity that characterises the atmosphere of the album. Even some short melancholic intermezzos or less hellish (yet imperious) background choirs do not affect the overall impression. Melechesh are on a kind of mission. Instead of looking to the left or the right, they are focused on celebrating their style. This does not exclude a more or less non-metallic, completely atmospheric or even folkloric instrumental, because this song ("The Scribes of Kur") is not for the faint hearted as well in view of the unfamiliar, exotic mood.

Nevertheless, the great quality of the aggressive riffs, leads and lines enoble this work. I am sure that the band has worked meticulously on the guitar parts, but this does not mean that they lack spontaneity. A lot of tracks boast with their impulsivity. "Leper Jerusalem" is just one example and its mercilessly cutting guitars create both a good flow and a feast of precisely executed violence. The opener also hits the nail on the head due to the impressive guitars. They sound like a swarm of infected mosquitos that want your blood. This swarm kicks off the album and tears apart the silence drastically. The listener is drawn into the album immediately and it feels good to be part of this sonic campaign right from the beginning. It is really difficult to leave this scenario until the album clocks in at 55 minutes, because Melechesh have exactly the feature which is missing so many times: individuality. The four-piece does not sound like any other band that I know and the omnipresent singularity of the here presented approach is impressing. The most vehement parts burn everything to the ground, but Ashmedi and his horde always destroy with style.

Melechesh seem to find the balance between complexity and clarity with great ease and the same goes for the balance between aggression and melody. Moreover, the traditional elements do not give the album an overly folkloric touch, they just enrich the malicious storm of sharp guitars, angry drums and menacing vocals. Thus, everything works here and mastermind Ashmedi has done a very good job. No superfluous track disturbs the flow of this fascinating album. If you are still young and you have the choice to become a rocket scientist or a metal musician with the skills of this band, then you are well advised to choose your side carefully.

Emissaries - 82%

richieblackmetal, October 22nd, 2014

Melechesh knows good metal; how is that for some grand articulate discourse? But with a band of such blatant skill and honest musicality, what more need be said? Here is a band one can count on to simply deliver and with a range of influences black, thrash, folk and (certainly not least) death, Melechesh dominates metal’s Middle-Eastern scene leaving even the likes of omega counterpart Nile amply surmounted in terms of overall musicianship in the context of true Mesopotamian feel. And if you’re thinking otherwise, read on because the array of melodious and theme-centric factors that distinguish this band as an undisputed leader of this subgenre is to be unpacked.

Rebirth of the Nemesis is nearly case and point staging some of the album’s most furious riffs and in being offset by a closing of plangent chants strikes a fine balance between technical ability and refreshing virtuosity. Whether as a track’s centerpiece or as supplement to a weighty ending, sonorous clean vocals bejewel this gem and thus mollify the album’s brash nature providing it with a multifarious attractiveness. What is perhaps most impressive of this approach is a sound replay value. Whether one looks to rigorous riffs, vocal performances, technical skill or strong melodies for upping this central albeit subjective value, Emissaries satisfies all of the above and, as such, has the ability to reach all types of metal audiences. Point: Melechesh.

Among the elite desert metal works, Emissaries lacks no rhythm, no melody nor inkling of a supporting “feel”, showcasing the band’s aptitude for shred-worthy scribe-telling riffs and, most notably, truly wicked drumming. This double kick demon does well with straightforward “Moroccan roll” rhythms while calculatedly utilizing tremendous foot speed and blastbeats that seem to do more than just keep up in order to enhance the meat of the record. Point deuce: Melechesh. Looking for a succinct master class of this band’s fruitful offerings? Sand Grain Universe fits that bill; upbeat and adventurous, mean, speedy and structurally grand, one could only be brought to see this as a focal point of the record. Into exemplary wind-swept vocals? Touching the Spheres of Sephiroth typifies the album’s noteworthy vocal performance; demonic, catchy, and reaching deep - far beyond growls and grunts. Point trey: Melechesh.

In noting the album’s very consistent nature, an outlier with an inescapably trifling appearance is Leper Jerusalem keeping to a more Goatwhoreish rollicking than alluding to any semblance of continued melodic least the album’s strong thematic content bleeds through in favor of this rather harmless track. Extemporized Ophthalmic Release is a trippy addition only in its totally unwarranted minimalistic nature – as though this is what Melechesh’s sound would be if they weren't lavish in technical talent. Can’t say its filler, though, because as a bonus track it simply doesn't fill any space; definitely a neat way to solidify the point of the album. Other highlights include Scribes of Kur, embodying the record’s much needed breather track. Sure, the presence of this appendage could be likened to any work of Nile’s. However, primitive tribal intermezzos akin to the likes of the lesser are superseded as Melechesh creates efficacious and meaningful feel through this aptly placed track. Point quad: Melechesh.

All in all, the point at hand just cannot be danced around. When assessing musicianship in the context of true Mesopotamian feel, Melechesh pharaohs the pack with an excess of unsurpassable factors that prove critical to the effectiveness of a great culturally influenced record. Make no mistake of this group's genius, and admit no contest on this null matter. Inside out, you can’t cope! My gyroscope!

For Everyone - 95%

Nyctophile, April 6th, 2007

Melechesh is a band that perfectly combines elements of black metal with ethnic influences. Listening to the cd the first time, I knew this band had massive potential. The fact that they declare themselves as Sumerian Black Metal alone shows that they are shooting for a unique sound. They do achieve a unique sound, trust me.

The most amazing part of Emmisaries is the fact that Melechesh creates such a unique atmosphere without sacrificing tenacity. Instead of using a plethora of instruments to create their "Sumerian" sound, the band relies on solid, creative riffs that leave you awestruck. They're not the most technical Black Metal band out there, but they do have solid musicianship.

As far as sound quality of the cd goes, Emissaries is a superb cd. The guitars are crisp and clean, punctuated by the drums. In addition to the guitars, the vocals are also very good, with a raspy, shrill tone.

Songwriting for Emissaries is definitely top-notch. Before you even think of listening to the cd, make sure you listen to "Rebirth of the Nemesis." The opening track absolutely devastates and leaves you with an indescribable feeling. Other notable tracks include "Ladders to Sumeria," "Double Helixed Sceptre," and "Touching the Spheres of Sephiroth." The songs themselves exhibit a lot of variety. For instance, "The Scribes of Kur," has a slower pace with more ethnic instrumentation that helps to create the mood of the cd. Overall, the songs complement each other nicely without sounding disjointed.

Melechesh has become one of my favorite bands because of their distinct style and undeniable passion. I would recommend this cd to fans of any type of metal. Yep even doom.

One of the Best Albums of 2006 - 95%

kozhushner, March 2nd, 2007

This album has got to be one of the best albums of 2006 and the best so far released by the band. It is a perfect blend of the folky Middle Eastern black metal sound of their Djinn album and the thrashy black metal of the Sphinx album. While in most cases good production tends to harm the quallity of a Black Metal album in this case it actually enhances it; Ashmedi's raspy vocals are clearer than ever and really stand out on the album and the folky Middle Eastern riffis are of exellent clarity as well.

Ashmedi's raspy vocals are clear and audiable unlike the Djinn album where you could barely hear his vocals. there’s some really well done and well placed chanting in some songs as well. Unlike alot of other bands Melechesh does not overuse the chanting, it appears in a few songs and thats it. so it does not get annoying because it doesnt come up in the middle of every single song. The best song on the album would probably have to be the first track, Rebirth of the Nemesis, which is very fast and thrashy and at the same time has that Middle Eastern folky approach to it, and it really sets the mood for the whole album.

The new drummer, Xul, does an excellent job as well and more than lives up to the work that Proscriptor has done for the band on the last 2 albums. The drumming is of a simmilar style that the band has used before, rather than blasting away on every song the drum beats also have that ethnic middle eastern feel to them.

The only major downsides of the album are that the instrumental, The Scribes of Kur, is abit longer than it should be, tho that is not too bad. The only other problem with the album is that none of the other tracks are really as exelent as the first one, but yet again that is not too bad as the other songs are still great.

Tracks I would recommend are:
Rebirth of the Nemesis
Deluge of Delusional Dreams
Sand Grain Universe
Ladders to Sumeria

Also the cover of The Tea Party's Gyroscope is very well done.

Punishing - 85%

MurderNArson, February 4th, 2007

There's pretty much no other way to put it: this album totally annihilates everything in its path. From the first devastating riffs to the grand finale, this disc will tear your face off.

Here, Melechesh manages to combine the intensity and brutality of death metal with the cold, sinister atmosphere of black metal quite successfully (and, thankfully, they do not adopt the production ideals of that latter genre - the sound is crystal clear). The riffs slice like knives, propelled by the wall of percussion behind them, and Melechesh Ashmedi's raspy vocals are placed perfectly in the mix. The dynamics are perfect as well - it's not all a constant pummeling, although the majority of it is. There are slower passages here and there, however, with meandering Eastern noodling or haunting clean guitar to give the listener breathing room and help contribute to the extreme-folk feel the whole album carries. The aforementioned raspy screams are superb, as are the clean, chanting vocals that make occasional appearances (case in point: the absolutely breathtaking climax of the opener, "Rebirth of the Nemesis").

As previously mentioned, one could complain that too many of the songs sound similar, and many of them do, but for once that doesn't bother me. The album flows smoothly from song to song, the intensity builds and wanes and builds again, and then you're knocked on your ass by a passage as brutal as anything you've ever heard, then it ebbs again. Through it all, aided by the folk melodies of the riffs, leads, and interludes, runs the sinister and distinctly Middle Eastern atmosphere mentioned above. As you probably know already, the band hails from Israel, and they've manages to infuse their blackened death metal with a very ethnic sound.

It's hard to pick out individual highlights, but "Rebirth of the Nemesis" and "Gyroscope" are probably the cream of the crop. All the songs are pretty spectacular, and there's no reason to ever use your skip button (except for possibly the instrumental "The Scribes of Kur," which is just a bit longer than it ought to be).

Bottom line: definitely one of the finest albums of 2006 - which, in such a good year for music, is saying something. Absolutely worth picking up if you can find it.