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Melechesh describe their sound as "Mesopotamian black thrashing metal", and whist this might sound wonderfully daft, it's also pretty accurate. The band hail from Isreal, (although pressure from the religious authorities there has forced them to relocate to the Netherlands), and their sound is an intoxicating mix of middle eastern folk, raw, fast black metal and old-school thrash.
The songs on 'Emissaries' are incredibly dynamic and brimming over with energy, and the band frequently employ powerful, bouncy grooves throughout. This is particularly apparent on 'Ladders to Sumeria', which fits some brilliant melodic black metal riffing around a hugely enjoyable Mastodon-esque groove, before peaking with a sharp, tight incredibly catchy thrash riff: its an utterly fantastic track that I never get tired of listening to.
Raw, fast tremelo riffing is a prominent feature throughout, and the manner in which the band incorporate middle-eastern scales and pomp-filled chanting and shouting into their songs helps give the music a mystical, fantastical quality, reminsicient in many ways of the Greek ethnic music-influenced 'Theogonia' album by Rotting Christ as well as Septic Flesh's brilliant 'Communion' album. The raw, relentlessly melodic riffs and harsh, screeched vocals help create a foreboding atmosphere of baking heat, swirling dust and ancient lost desert cities, which works to strengthen the album's mythological theme.
The album is not perfect; some of the songs concentrate a little too much on frantic riffs at the expense of song-structure, and the instrumental folk track "The Scribes of Kur" is pleasant but monotonous and overlong, but overall 'Emissaries' is an original and immensely enjoyable listen that represents another great addition to the canon of black metal.
1. Rebirth of the Nemesis 06:38
2. Ladders to Sumeria 04:02
3. Deluge of Delusional Dreams 06:25
4. Touching the Spheres of Sephiroth 03:10
5. Gyroscope (The Tea Party cover) 02:58
6. Double Helixed Sceptre 05:56
7. The Scribes of Kur 06:35
8. Leper Jerusalem 03:49
9. Sand Grain Universe 05:16
10. Emissaries and the Mysterium Magnum 07:20
Total playing time 52:02
Emissiaries is Melechesh's 4th album and was released in October 2006 on the Osmosis label having recorded it in Germany . The Israeli born band have strengthened their sound over the years and this album is really pretty eclectic.
The currently Amsterdam based outfit play Messopotamian folk music which is completely acoustic and instrumental at times and on tracks like "The Scribes of Kur" this really shows their ability to play traditional instruments well whilst other tracks are perhaps slightly less technical but fuse a mixture of Arabic groove with black metal and extremely catchy thrash metal riffs which creates a pretty good melody.
To the non extreme metal fan the vocals of Ashmedi will of course sound like someone vomiting at times but to the less reserved listener - it's actually not bad at all. My favourite track is the intensely fast Lepers of Jerusalem but The Scribes of Kur and Ladders to Sumeria are also great choices and as varied as they come.
This album is the only so far to include the band's new Dutch drummer (who is in their 5th year of playing with them now) Xul.
1. "Rebirth of the Nemesis" - 6:38
2. "Ladders to Sumeria" - 4:02
3. "Deluge of Delusional Dreams" - 6:52
4. "Touching the Spheres of Sephiroth" - 3:10
5. "Gyroscope" (The Tea Party adaptation)- 2:58
6. "Double Helixed Sceptre" - 5:56
7. "The Scribes of Kur" - 6:35
8. "Leper Jerusalem" - 3:49
9. "Sand Grain Universe" - 5:16
10. "Emissaries and the Mysterium Magnum" - 7:20
11. "Extemporized Ophtalmic Release" (bonus track- it is not titled on the track listing but is number 11 on the CD)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Rebirth of the Nemesis (Enuma Elish Rewritten)
2 Ladders to Sumeria
3 Deluge of Delusional Dreams: Act I - Cast Tempest from the East/Act II
4 Touching the Spheres of Sephiroth
6 Double Helixed Sceptre
7 Scribes of Kur
8 Leper Jerusalem
9 Sand Grain Universe
10 Emissaries and the Mysterium Magnum