Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Although it may seem as though close to all major metal bands come from either the United States or Scandinavia to actually believe this would remarkably ignorant. Metal as a genre is actually at a point now where fathers and even grandfathers are fans meaning that its influence from the late eighties and early nineties has not only reached interesting places but also spawned bands.

This point ties in nicely with something that I've mentioned quite a bit which is how Metal music is influenced by its environment. So for example, the dark, gloomy and in some perspectives, oppressed culture and landscape of Norway created, well Norwegian Black Metal. Or the Sunset Strip biker lifestyle of California created Hair Metal and so on. Now, not to say that these are examples of places that
don't have a distinct culture but compare the images of culture that they invoke to that of say, Jerusalem. Now that's some heavy duty culture.

This brings us to Melechesh, a pretty special band. How often can you read a bands bio that states that they released a 7" EP in 1996 and went on to perform several successful shows in the Holy Land? Let me know. Aside from a few EP's they've put out three full-length records but didn't fully hit their stride until 2003 when they put out Sphynx, an album that is without a doubt very metal but with unmistakable trademarks of their cultural history. To quote their site, "this album presents the bands Mesopotamian/Sumerian Metal in a more aggressive and intricate manner", safe to say that not many bands will be able to say that. In other words, KILLER!

In all honesty Purifier of the Stars will speak for itself. The drum production is very very clean and sounds awesome and the vocal element is in a way the main hint of Black Metal. Aside from those things it's well...Mesopotamian? Or dare I say...Sumerian? How about thrashy-death and pretty damn good.

According to their site the new album was to come out early this year but production/mix issues have delayed it until early fall. This means that it will be released right around the time that they play the one-off Sacrifice reunion show in Toronto. Read that last sentence again if your jealousy hasn't quite sunken in yet.

To read the
very positive and articulate AMG review of Sphynx go here.

Melechesh website.

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