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5 tablatures for Melechesh

Melechesh - Emissaries (7,5/10) - Netherlands - 2006

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Osmose Productions
Playing time: 55:27
Band homepage: Melechesh


  1. Rebirth Of The Nemesis (Enuma Elish Rewritten)
  2. Ladders To Sumeria
  3. Deluge Of Delusional Dreams
  4. Touching The Spheres Of Sephiroth
  5. Gyroscope
  6. Double Helixed Sceptre
  7. The Scribes Of Kur
  8. Leper Jerusalem
  9. Sand Grain Universe
  10. Emissaries And The Mysterium Magnum
  11. Extemporal Ophtalmic Release
Melechesh - Emissaries

So back in 2003 MELECHESH released “Sphynx” and for a little while at least the Internet was on fire bending over backward to praise them. The once-Jerusalem-based band drew all sorts of attention for its incorporation of Middle Eastern musical styles with Black Metal but when I finally got a chance to hear some of the material I was disappointed with how little of it was immediately evident. I figured that, like NILE or RUDRA the web had greatly overstated scant traditional influences.


That being said, “Emissaries” tries to show me the error of my ways.  The first four or five tracks exhibit some Middle Eastern influence, primarily in quick guitar twists in the early parts of the songs, but then “Gyroscope” and “Double Helixed Sceptre” kick the door in with more blatant influences in the riffs and even some chanting. “The Scribes Of Kur” is an entirely acoustic, instrumental piece on Middle Eastern stringed instruments with the occasional pipe or percussion. It’s wonderfully atmospheric as well, showing that this band doesn’t need to channel DARKTHRONE to sound evil. “Leper Jerusalem” almost sounds like a better-produced MEADS OF ASPHODEL song, as it melds some up-tempo, almost Hard Rock licks with tremolo riffage and blackened Thrash.


Unfortunately, after these four remarkable songs “Sand Grain Universe” takes things back into noisy, repetitive Black Metal that characterized the first four songs and we stay there until a nice guitar solo at the end of “Emissaries And The Mysterium Magnum.” The digi-pack contains the instrumental bonus track “Extemporal Ophtalmic Release,” which is a shame because it’s my favourite. Aside from “The Scribes Of Kur,” it’s the one most obviously steeped in Middle Eastern influences, but that’s all in the excellent guitar work.


When “Emissaries” is good, it’s really quite good. Unfortunately, MELECHESH has a tendency to get bogged down with repetitive songs that may have moments of interest, such as some almost spoken-word parts in “Ladders To Sumeria” or the opening guitar of “Deluge Of Delusional Dreams”, but can’t maintain that level of interest for an entire song. Xul, the new drummer, is a credit and does switch things up a bit, but this album still could use a little more variety. At the same time, it has made me reconsider my opinion of MELECHESH and some of it’s songs are really remarkably good. Fans of the band already have it and I can recommend that people curious should certainly check them out with few reservations.

(Online February 11, 2007)

Keith Stevens

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