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Melechesh: The Epigenesis-Instrumentals

Hailing from the hills of the holy city, Jerusalem, in Israel, Mesopotamian and Sumarian themed extreme metal outfit Melechesh have returned with a totally unexpected surprise from the vaults over at Nuclear Blast. Coming out of the mists of time and the burning sands of ancient deserts comes an instrumental version of their masterpiece album from 2010 with the apt title of The Epigenesis: Instrumentals.

When I received the press kit for this review there was literally no information attached, just the music, leaving me with a mystery. Why would Ashmedi, The main man of Melechesh, decide to release an instrumental version of The Epigenesis now, some twelve years since the original was released? I thought the answer might lay in the website, but no, not there either, so luckily after some searching I found an interview with Decibel Magazine which thankfully did shed some light. Apparently while chatting with someone at the label they hit across the subject of soundtracks and this triggered Ashmedi’s memory that back in 2010 they had done a separate mix and master for the album which had been forgotten about. With some quick searching done through the archives, Nuclear Blast tracked it down and sent it to the band. Ashmedi loved hearing this version so much and thought it would inspire fans to reconnect with the album both from a listening perspective but also from an interactive one.

Sonically the mix is slightly different, however it’s fairly subtle overall and if you know and love the original version then it won’t feel too foreign. The guitars are really telling the story of The Epigenesis: Instrumentals rather than the vocals and many of the middle eastern instruments are even more prominent in the overall soundscape as well. Melechesh has always been expert at blending absolutely pummeling brutality with a transcendent, meditative quality that harnesses the worlds of Black and Death Metal expertly while also transporting the listener to those ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia and Sumaria replete with the feeling of their distant cultures and traditions. It’s a heady and sublime mix and the original The Epigenesis remains one of several of the band's crowning achievements with albums like 2003’s Sphynx and their most recent masterwork 2015’s Enki.

I consider The Epigenesis to be a near perfect album that blends savagery and mysticism in a wonderfully hypnotic way. So when I saw this album come in for review I thought “great another instrumental version of a great metal album, why do we need that?” and at the end of the day I’m always going to love the original more. However I have found The Epigenesis: Instrumentals an even more hypnotic and meditative experience in a way. I have also discovered more elements that were perhaps buried in the mix previously or hidden behind Ashmedi’s awesome growls. This version is more the kind of thing you can have on in the background while reading or one that will allow you to fill in the gaps with your own imagination. Without the growls it does also allow it to breathe a little more and fans of heavy guitars who can’t get past growling extreme vocals will have an easier way into Melechesh’s amazing music through this gateway.

As far as standout tracks, well I have always loved every track on The Epigenesis and it’s no different here on The Epigenesis: Instrumentals. This is a full album experience type of music and the best way to enjoy it is to be fully immersed.

Melechesh are currently over in Athens, Greece working on their follow-up to Enki and in the meantime have given us this unlikely surprise to remind us of their previous greatness and to add anticipation for the greatness to come. The Epigenesis: Instrumentals may not be essential, as the original as i said before is a near perfect album, yet it is certainly a fascinating deeper look at the wonderful music captured on that more than essential original album.

Melechesh Ashmedi / Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion
Moloch / Guitars, Bouzouki
Rahm / Bass
Xul / Drums, Percussion

1. Ghouls Of Nineveh (6:44)
2. Grand Gathas Of Baal Sin (5:54)
3. Sacred Geometry (5:29)
4. The Magickan And The Drones (7:17)
5. Mystics Of The Pillar (8:28)
6. When Halos Of Candles Collide (5:38)
7. Defeating the Giants (3:24)
8. Illumination - The Face Of Shamash (5:33)
9. Negative Theology (3:47)
10. The Greater Chain Of Being (6:53)
11. The Epigenesis (12:17)
Total playing time 71:24

Added: November 10th 2022
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 197
Language: english

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