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Review: Melechesh - Enki

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 62:20
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 5, 2015
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.64/5 (92.8%) (25 Votes)

Hard to believe this is number six for Melechesh, who are still going strong after more than twenty years. Aside from Ashmedi, the lineup of this band is always shifting, this time seeing the addition of veteran bass player Scorpios and the departure of former drummer Xul for newcomer Lord Curse. I did not expect any real surprises from this disc, as Melechesh have perfected their sound and do not really deviate from it. What they do is dish up the alchemical Middle-Eastern occultism they are known for and they do it well.

This is overall harder and less experimental than The Epigenesis, without the sometimes trippy feel of that album. But it is still more melodic and less furious than older works like Djinn. The songwriting here is highly polished and richly textured, with the complexity and depth I have come to expect from this band. The riffs are powerful and propulsive, and Ashmedi’s vocals are venomous and yet clear. New drummer Lord Curse just blows away Xul’s work on The Epigenesis. Xul was technical, but he lacked flair and his playing was too fussy to be heavy. Curse is a more pugilistic performer who recalls some of Proscripter’s style from the old days.

I don’t know, I enjoy this album a lot, but a kind of sameness has crept into Melechesh’s work, and no matter how good the songs are, they all kind of blend in together. This is tight, heavy, technical and impeccably composed and played, but it just does not grab me the way that Sphynx did. Melechesh may never quite reach the fevered intensity of their early days, but at least they are still turning out albums as good as this one. I won’t fault them for that.

Other related information on the site
Review: As Jerusalem Burns… Al'Intisar (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Djinn (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Emissaries (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)
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