Reviews : Albums : Melechesh, "Djinn"

Melechesh, "Djinn"

Melechesh brand themselves a "Mesopotamian metal" band, and the moniker suits them. Hailing from Jerusalem, they play a fiery brand of black metal that is short on theatrics and long on snakey riffs and compelling songs. The Mesopotamian nature of their sound can best be heard on the acoustic opener, the slinky chorus riff of "Rub the Lantern" and the exotic vocals and hand-percussion fueled build up at the end of "Covering the Sun". There's a lot of traditional metal and thrash influences in there as well, most noticably Slayer, who's shadow pops up again and again, though always with a slight twist and wrapped in a new context. Absu's Proscriptor McGovern is Melechesh's fulltime drummer and his performance is a high example of taste and power as he drives each song with thunderous kicks and a serious dose of groove. Moloch and Ashmedi are more than competent guitarists and their arrangements are simple but potent, often draped with Arabic ornamentation and acoustic instrumentation. Bassist Al'Hazred holds down the bottom end with a smooth, clean tone and plays like a true bassist when locking in with Prosciptor's groove as he does on the album's best riff ["Rub the Lantern", 1:16]. Everyone but Proscriptor contributes vocals, allowing for a range of styles from black metal gargles to Coroner-esque grunts to rough cut clean to ear piercing wails weaving into the song structures.

Melechesh is tapping a vein that a lot of bands have been taking influence from for a long time, but because they are born of the culture and a part of the culture, they haven't just tacked it onto to a typical metal sound. Instead, they've adapted the sounds and music they've had in their blood since birth to and molded them into a new sound that they've found in their hearts.

Standout Tracks

   Rub the Lantern
   Covering the Sun
   The Siege of Lachish