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Review: Melechesh - As Jerusalem Burns… Al'Intisar
As Jerusalem Burns… Al'Intisar

Label: War is Imminent Productions
Year released: 2001
Duration: 59:06
Tracks: 13
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: January 13, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
As Jerusalem Burns… Al'Intisar

Rated 4.14/5 (82.86%) (14 Votes)

My first exposure to Melechesh was their second album, "Djinn" which distinguished itself by a Black/Death metal mixed with a good dose of Middle-Eastern musical instruments - which would prompt the use of "Mesopotamian Black Metal" to describe the band's music. This first release here is not as distinctive as "Djinn" was, since only a few songs have that Middle-Eastern stuff thrown into them - some more obvious than the others, some where it's pretty discreet. Note that this 2001 re-issue does mention "Mesopotamian Black Metal", most likely to catch on "Djinn" momentum since it was one of the highly-acclaimed albums that year.

That said, this doesn't take anything away from this debut album which, Middle-Eastern instrumentation aside, is quite a good Black Metal album in itself. On that side, this is overall pretty much your typical BM - fast-paced (but not Setherial-fast) with screechy vocals. I can hear some of you say "Boring! Been there, done that!", but Melechesh's music is quite polished and diversified, with good riffs aplenty and some damn catchy melodies (yes, melodies - but without earning the ill-fated "Melodic BM" monicker.) Now, today this might sound "used" to some, but remember that the original release was in 1996.

The addition of the Middle-Eastern elements is what put Melechesh on the map, and they did a surprisingly good job at it - let's face it, many bands totally screw up the inclusion of different music and/or instruments in metal. Some will scream "gimmick" or "overrated", and to them I can only say one thing: Just listen to something else then. :) Melechesh have incorporated sounds that are about as far away from metal as you can get, yet managed to remain undoubtedly metal, no doubt possible. I can't say the same for many, and I do mean many bands. Alright, enough said. For a good slice of well-executed Black Metal with an unusual twist, this is a sure bet. This thing is stuck in my CD player.

Additional Information

Originally released in 1996 by Breath of Night Records/Pulverizer Records.

Track Listing:
  1. Intro
  2. Sultan Of Mischief
  3. Assyrian Spirit
  4. Planetary Bites
  5. Hymn To Gibil
  6. The Sorcerers Of Melechesh
  7. Dance Of The Black Genii
  8. Baphomet's Lust
  9. Devil's Night
  10. As Jerusalem Burns... Al'Intisar
  11. Desert Pentagram
  12. Malek Al'Nar (Live in Jerusalem '96)
  13. Hymn To Gibil (CD-ROM Video track)
Other related information on the site
Review: Djinn (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Emissaries (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Enki (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Sphynx (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Sphynx (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Epigenesis (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with vocalist and guitarist Ashmedi on August 2, 2015 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Video: Genies Sorcerers And Mesopotamian Nights
Video: Grand Gathas Of Baal Sin
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