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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 genius...at 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!