(Osmose Prod.)


MARK: 89/100


An example of vague, arcane and ancient art has been depicted for the 3rd time in a more comprehensive way than before. The quartet from Jerusalem and Bethlehem, now operating separatedly in Holland, France and the USA, starts with a bunch of songs in which the tightness is constantly kept by Proscriptor's severe and fast drumming on a dynamic texture that's not black, nor death, but simply not alienating extreme metal with some interventions of Near East and Mediterranean instruments (daff, riqq, darbukka and saz) played by the band themselves as in "Apkallu Counsel" and the whole "The Arrival Ritual" - quite Nile-influenced - in order to enrich their proposal of Mesopotamian Metal devoted to the immortality of mankind; from Enlil's stolen tablets of fate to Annunaki's golden thrones, "Sphynx" explores, illuminates and offers the perfect picture painted for pagan macigal arts from that mystic area where the oldest civilties come from (whose inheritance, preserved for more than 5,000 years, has been unfortunately recently ravaged in less than 1 week before careless US soldiers'eyes after the Iraqi war in Baghdad's archeological museum and National library).

I know it may sound funny, yet it's true that "Tablets of Fate" is a thrash blackish song, with an Exodus's vocal style, but more aggressive, and the same happens with "Incendium Between Mirage and Time". Of course it's just to give you an idea of the CD style, but just think that the band implemented its sound with Iraqi, Arab, Armenian and other oriental beats on their metal bridges and riffs and keep in mind that the best riffs are in the instrumental "Caravans to Ur", preceding a very gloomy hidden track and in "Secrets of Sumerian Sphynxology", definitely the top of the album along with an Andy La Rocque's solo in "Purifier of the Stars", confirming the enrichment and improving of Melechesh compared to the times of the fairly good but a bit prolix "Djinn".

The recording and mixing are from La Rocque (King Diamond, Witchery, Einherjer, Evergrey, Ill Will...) and the mastering by Attie Bauw (Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rush, Fight, Halford, and many others), and Ron Woodall illustrated covera rt (George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic. Graphic designer of Star Wars, Dragonheart, Jurassic Park, Peral Harbor, etc.!!!). Furthermore, this multimedia CD also includes a lot of pics, one music clip and infos about the band and this CD; excellent idea that should always be more spread in the future. Finally, the LP version includes a Celtic Frost's cover, so it's plain Osmose are really trusting Melechesh at 100% and investing a lot into their career