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Melechesh : Sphynx : Metal albums reviews

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Melechesh : Sphynx, brief review

Melechesh :  Sphynx

Band name: Melechesh

This last year was an especially bad one for my interest in new metal bands, as I have mainly been focusing on getting older releases. All the blast attack/grind, and "core" type stuff has been really pissing me off, because when I hear metal, I want riffs and memorable songs, not just buzz drive overkill blur shit.

As with Akercocke's Choronzon, Melechesh's Sphynx is restoring my faith in the new generation of metal. This is such a masterpiece that I am almost at a loss for words.

Read my review of their previous album, Djinn, for a more complete description of their style, because Sphynx picks up right where that one left off. What's a lot different this time is a much more cohesive unit and slower songs. The song structures make sense, and move logically, instead of having a few riffs that seem to be "just there." By slow, I do not mean doom, and Melechesh certainly hasn't lost their edge. In contrast, the faster parts sound a lot better than on Djinn, which had a lot of blasting.

This album has great riffs, most of them textured (see Immortal's Pure Holocaust), but with a lot of punch to them and of course the obligatory ethnic feel. The best riff has to be around the 4:00 mark on "Apkallu Council," which is just godly. A lot of other places have actually riffs rather than just tremlo buzzing (works on a lot of black metal albums), which makes the whole album a bit more "old school." Oh, and they're making the stranges guitar noises here and there, which make Trey Azagthoth's experimenting seem almost as tame as new Metallica. Proscriptor's drumming is perfect as usual, with more fills, but extremely powerful in his choice of double bass use. Finally, there's a hell of a lot more punch to the overall attack, which makes me raise the devil horns to Andy Larocque for his production. In fact, there's a strong Celtic Frost feel to some of the riffing and the guitar tone, which makes it a lot more powerful. Djinn had a good sense of this as well, but it has been magnified here 100%.

The songs are a bit shorter as well, but not much, which solves one of the complaints I had about Djinn (a few of the songs just went on and on). The ethnic percussion and strange instruments are toned down a bit, which kind of sucks, but at the same time forces Melechesh to create heavier music. Unlike some bands who have a "middle eastern" theme, Melechesh really brings you there, instead of just in your room.

Album: Sphynx, review

The bands country origin: Israel

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