Israeli Sumerian Thrashing Black/Mesopotamian Metal act Melechesh are one of those 'does not disappoint' bands who consistently churn out one killer release after another, taking their time to do so, but making each album count in a big way. Their latest release for Nuclear Blast Records, Enki, sees Ashmedi (vocals, guitars, percussion), Scorpios (bass, percussion), Moloch (guitar), and Lord Curse (drums) once again delivering the goods, each song dripping with those ethnic flavors of Sumeria, Ancient Egypt and Babylon. It's not quite black metal, not quite death metal, but something in between that's ultimately, well, Melechesh.
The tempos are varied, a multitude of ethnic instruments & percussion utilized, all giving Enki a sound & style that's constantly pleasing to the ear. Yes, this is brutal music, but it's also majestic and elegant at the same time. "Lost Tribes" at first glance seems like raging, venomous black metal, but all the little Middle Eastern references lend a hand to turning it into something completely different. "Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged" and "The Pendulum Speaks" show Melechesh's penchant for tumultuous riffing that's unlike anything you've heard before. In fact, it's those crushing, swirling riffs that drive the menacing "Multiple Truths", a deliciously evil slice of heavenly headbanging, with Ashmedi's monstrous growls perfectly executed over stunning arrangements. The pace slows considerably on "Enki Divine Nature Awoken", as dirge-like riffs, keyboards, and pounding rhythms take this 8+ minute basher into almost Nile styled territory, with Ashmedi's tortured wailings leading the charge. Those ethnic flavors again come out on the delightful "The Palm the Eye and Lapis Lazuli", and the epic closer "The Outsiders" is just that, absolutely epic, over 12-minutes of agonizing vocals, choirs, blistering riffs, and Middle Eastern themes. If there's one clunker in the bunch, it's "Doorways to Irkala", an 8-minute snoozer featuring all acoustic instruments & percussion that could have easily been chopped in half or more to serve as a segue instead of the final result.
Enki is another fantastic release from the Melechesh camp, a band that takes their time in between releases for a reason, as you can really hear the effort that went into this one. Well done.
1. Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged
2. The Pendulum Speaks
3. Lost Tribes
4. Multiple Truths
5. Enki Divine Nature Awoken
6. Metatron and Man
7. The Palm the Eye and Lapis Lazuli
8. Doorways to Irkala
9. The Outsiders