Wednesday, December 1, 2010


^^^ original cover art/re-issue cover art vvv

I never really pursued the music of Jerusalem's Melechesh much, probably because I read one too many ball-scrubbing reviews of their work on MetalSucks and just assumed they were crap. And, in defense of my unjustified prejudice, their later albums proved to be unsurprisingly mediocre. But I'll be dipped in dogshit if their 1996 full-length debut album As Jerusalem Burns... Al'Intisar ain't a monumental mindfuck of an album, a true standout from a time and a place where no one ever really expected it. I'm definitely glad I finally gave these guys a shot, and Jerusalem has stayed in heavy rotation around ICHQ as of late. But it's not only because these dudes sound like a more-technically-proficient, desert-ified, Nightside Eclipse-era Emperor. There are several reasons why this band (or, more specifically, this record) is exceedingly remarkable amongst its peers. Please find just 5 of these reasons below:

1) When you're listening to Melechesh on your iPod on the bus or BART or whatever, every once in awhile a guy will sneak up and shake a rattle or a rainstick or some shit in your ear (on the recording, that is). It keeps you on your toes, and, as Melechesh are actually from the Middle East, their use of "native instruments" comes off as a bit more LEGIT than Nile or whoever.

2) Sweet reggaeton beats.

3) Riffs like this one.

4) They're from fucking BETHLEHEM, birthplace of that one imaginary guy who got famous doing slight-of-hand magic tricks with baked goods and seafood. Satanic street cred AS FUCK.

5) OK, this one is kind of hard to explain, but you know when a drummer is playing a blastbeat, and then they go into a different, faster blastbeat? Not doubling the tempo or anything, just a slightly different beat, which makes the whole mess just sound that much weirder and more twisted? I love when drummers do that, and dude from Melechesh does it really well.

Go to the exact middle of the title track of this album for an example:

Fuck that rules.
Anyway, do you guys need MORE than 5 reasons to get this? I think not.

Download HERE



abdul alhazred said...

I actually really like the new one. These guys are way beyond Nile, who I always found over-rated and gimmicky and quite boring live.

Shelby Cobras said...

Nile has been a lost cause ever since Chief left.

Anonymous said...

I hear what you mean with the "Nightside Eclipse" type of vibe. The Youtube clip doesn't do it justice though; the sound is 100% majestic darkness!! Imagine the re-issue's full color cover if Necrolord had painted it... that would just rule.

Reginald said...

Another thing Melechesh have over Nile, their guitar tone doesn't sound like shit.

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

Nile are pretty much a one-trick pony - if you have '...Nephren Ka' you don't need anything else by 'em really. Melechesh, on the other hand, continue to evolve. I'm not even sure that I LIKE the new one but I'm still listening to it.

Patrick Hughes said...

Before the release of Emissaries I interviewed Ashmedi from Melechesh at length. One of the things impressing me was his understanding of traditional near east and middle east music, and how he incorporates elements from that stuff on a song-by-song basis not just into melody or riffs, but the band's music as a whole - guitar tone, arrangements, rhythm, you know it. Contrast that with Nile, a very good band in many regards, but one that embellishes traditional death metal with oriental trappings and themes.