Label: Osmose Productions OPCD 142
Format: CD, Album, Promo
Genre: Black Metal
1 Of Mercury And Mercury 6:34
2 Secrets Of Sumerian Sphynxology 5:33
3 Annunakis Golden Thrones 5:18
4 Apkallu Counsel 6:42 Vocals Nicklas Rudolfsson
5 Tablets Of Fate 5:30
6 Triangular Tattvic Fire 4:29
7 The Arrival Ritual 5:48 Mixed By Al’Hazred
8 Incendium Between Mirage And Time 5:48
9 Purifier Of The Stars 4:42 Guitar [Solo] Andy LaRocque (King Diamond etc.)
10 Caravans To Ur 12:40
Baglama [Saz] Ashmedi
Engineer Andy LaRocque
Engineer [Assistant] Nicklas Rudolfsson
Keyboards Al’Hazred, Ashmedi
Lead Guitar Ashmedi, Moloch
Lead Vocals Ashmedi
Mastered By Attie Bauw
Mixed By Andy LaRocque, Melechesh
Percussion [Daf, Riqq], Goblet Drum [Darbukka] Ashmedi, Moloch
Producer Andy LaRocque, Melechesh
Rhythm Guitar Ashmedi, Moloch
Vocals Al’Hazred, Proscriptor
Note: cardboard sleeve
One of the most intelligent black metal albums ever
very catchy and original band, this album shows them at their best, though this may be disputed by puritan black metal fans who prefer Melecheshs debut ‘As Jerusalem Burns Al’ Intitsar’ for its sheer blackness or by the people who may prefer the sophomore ‘Djinn’ album for its extra emphasis on Middle eastern scales). I say this album is a perfect balance of all of Melecheshs strong points.. A Must have for any self respecting black, death, thrash, speed and heavy metal fan.
Fave Track: non, they all kick ass!
5.0 out of 5 stars Melechesh – Sphynx,
2003. Sphynx is the third full-length studio album by the unique Metal band from Jerusalem, Melechesh.
I’ve heard the band called all sorts of things online and in print, from Black Metal, to Technical Thrash, to Groove Metal, to Melodic Death Metal, to Folk Metal, to Progressive Metal. No one label really suits the band as they can mix all of those things in an album and often in a single song.
They have a heck of a lot of technical sections in odd time signatures but they are not afraid to just slam away with some powerful Thrash for a while either. They incorporate Folk influences from their own culture, but thats not really “the point” of the songs either. They lapse into slow, heavy grooves and apply pinch harmonics certainly, but its only one string to their multifaceted bow, and while the vocals can be reminiscent of Black Metal at times, the riffs aren’t really oppressive or icy sounding.
The truth is they are just a really unique, incredibly interesting and talented band, that come out with some very enjoyable music that covers a lot of ground within the Metal spectrum. They’re as suitable for fans of Dream Theater and Mastodon as they are for fans of At The Gates and Dark Tranquility, and as suitable for those fans as for fans of Dissection and Immortal. If you like all those bands and haven’t heard Melechesh yet, you might want to rectify that pretty soon.
Lyrically, the band have their unique selling point in the form of singing about interesting historical and fictional things from their own culture. What Amon Amarth do with Norse Mythology, Melechesch do with Sumerian/ Assyrian/ Mesopotamian folklore. It gives the listener an interesting perspective, and variety from all the usual gore or biblical stuff.
Sphynx carries on the tradition Melechesh have set for themselves, ever expanding their horizons without loosing their core sound, improving with each new record and adding some ghostly, evil-sounding folk moments and sound effects (in this case `Arrival Ritual’ and the hidden end of `Caravans To Ur’) into their collage of different Metallic styles. Its an incredibly instant album, that grabs your attention right away (Just try not to enjoy `Purifier Of The Stars’) but that has so many great little touches and hidden depths that you can listen to it over and over again and like it more every single time.
The great thing about this record is that you don’t have to be a massive Extreme Metal fan to enjoy it. Although its got a lot of the characteristics of the most intense, powerful and nasty sounding aspects of Metal music, its actually somehow strangely accessible and the band manage to write such catchy and enjoyable music that it never feels too dense or challenging, too difficult to get into, or even simply too noisy.
That being said however, don’t think that the album can’t satisfy tastes for heavy and extreme sounds; just check out the savage, thundering, blast-filled “Annunakais Golden Thrones.” That should tick all your boxes for rage, technicality and riffs that sound like a swarm of insects tearing the skin from living humans. Its just that the Groove sections, Thrash riffs and all that bouncy Sumerian stuff gives the record a lot of hooks and memorable sections that are really easy to latch onto.
Highlights include the ridiculously catchy and bouncy `Secrets Of Sumerian Sphynxology’ (if you wonder whether or not this album is for you, check that song out) as well as the monolithic, hypnotic display of talent that is `Apkallu Counsel’ and the surprisingly fun `Tablets Of Fire’ with its sneaky sounding riffs and enjoyable drumming.
Overall; Melechesch are a band with a hell of a lot to offer, a massive amount of talent and a lot of original ideas. If you like Extreme Metal they’ll feel like a breath of fresh air and if you don’t they are still accessible enough to really get a lot of enjoyment out of. If you choose to check out the band, Sphynx is a damn fine record to try and a great starting point for new fans. I listen to it really regularly and it never gets boring.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally Great,
this is one of the best metal releases I’ve heard in a long while. The drumming in particular is top-notch. I will be buying their entire catalogue.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best all around metal albums ever…,
I never get tired of the precision and passion of Melechesh’s attack. Many metal bands have utilised middle eastern melodies and rhythms in their music, but these guys are truly the real deal. Nothing really more needs to be said about this album except that I don’t think Melechesh have achieved the recognition they deserve. I’m sure if they lived Stateside or in England, they could increase their exposure but living in Israel may complicate matters in regards to their touring.
That said, get this album if you like true metal. Even Djinn, their last album is excellent as well. Just wait until their next release, I’ll bet its going to be a monster.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime,
Proscriptor is the King. If you’re a drummer, you have to listen to some of his work. Get this and some Absu, one of his other projects. I swear, sometimes his drums are enough to kick in that feeling of transportation only the best music gives you.
Of course, on this album, most of the time he is playing along to very adventurous and playful riffing. Melechesh has the speed and vocals of black metal, but still come off as Thrashy, or just ‘brilliant’.
The lyrics are about the true creators of earth and man and all that:
“Rites of ill winds, burning the awareness path
Rites of Dingir never to be for mankind
In the maze of the dome it shall be sealed
The secrets of sphynxology will never be revealed
Nebiru ground of the olden rise
Dunes of the formers cipher the cries
My favorite here is probably Annunakis Golden Thrones, because of ‘that riff part’. You will know when you hear it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best melechesh CD
Best Melechesh CD and a great black metal CD. Proscriptor really is the best piece of the band, and his drums on this CD show why.
The lyrics and the rhythms are of middle eastern descent. Of course they don’t live there anymore since the religious cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem don’t approve of them.
The best songs on this CD are Apkallu Counsel, Caravans to Ur, and the tribal Arrival Ritual.
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