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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.