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Melechesh - 'The Epigenesis'

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Melechesh - The Epigenesis

Melechesh - The Epigenesis

Nuclear Blast Records

The Bottom Line

A stellar continuation of the unconventional black metal Melechesh showed off on Emissaries.

Pros

  • Ethnic mystique throughout the album.
  • Superb guitar interplay between Melechesh and Moloch.
  • Strong production values give instruments an extra punch.

Cons

  • Two instrumentals are stretched out to unbearable lengths.

Description

  • Released October 26, 2010 on Nuclear Blast Records.
  • Melechesh’s fifth album.
  • Recorded at the Babajim Studio in Istanbul, Turkey.

Guide Review - Melechesh - 'The Epigenesis'

The masters of “Mesopotamian Metal” have returned after four years with The Epigenesis. Their last album Emissaries had praise heaped upon it from critics and fans alike. The Epigenesis is likely to cause the same reaction, as it builds off the steady foundation of Middle Eastern-tinged black metal the band diligently crafted on Emissaries. Experimenting with song structures and varied tempos keeps the album from stumbling into pretentious babble.

Like every past album, gruff vocals speak tales rich with mystique and mystery, while the traditional Eastern instruments are out in full force. “The Magickan And The Drones” is a slow-burner that lights the fuse to a destructive force led by the unstoppable riffs of Melechesh Ashmedi and Moloch. Being together for almost two decades has really done wonders to their potent chemistry. This is a riff-friendly record, as portrayed by the unstable “Defeating the Giants” and punishing “Ghouls Of Nineveh.”

The Epigenesis is a hefty album, the longest by the band so far, but there are several songs that count as the best material the band has ever written. The catchy undertones of “Grand Gathas Of Baal Sin” is a concert favorite in the making. “Mystics Of The Pillar” balances all the band’s elements, both heavy and melodic, into one tight package. The 12-minute closing title track is a blackened progressive rock jam for the ages. The band lets loose in the studio armed with a plentiful supply of lead guitar licks and unplanned shifts in tone.

The band’s penchant for instrumentals proves to be their only downfall. “When Halos Of Candles Collide” and “The Greater Chain Of Being” clock in at six minutes each, focusing primarily on sitar and percussion work. They are fine for the first few minutes, until the band stretches things out to the breaking point. It’s no surprise that these plodding moments bog the album down.

With one or two tracks shortened or cut out, The Epigenesis could have surpassed Emissaries. Despite that claim, it’s still a great album that was worth the long wait. Another evolutionary step is taken by the foursome with their fifth album. Even though their black metal roots still ring out with vicious clarity, the ethnic influences prove that Melechesh is far from being one-dimensional.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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