Being a casual fan of past works of Melechesh, knowing that Conspiracy is the project of ex-voice of the band definitely made me curious of the band’s works. Irremediable is Conspiracy‘s third full length album, released under Pulverised Records, and the attractive, seemingly cosmos-themed album artwork helps initially in capturing the attention of the listener.
Unlike the speed-infused black metal that band mastermind Al Hazred’s ex-band, Melechesh plays in, from opening track Nocturnal Hunters it is obvious that Conspiracy is a totally different animal, with the strong orchestral elements that are present right from the start, and the emphasis on the melody in the music, unleashing an emotional section through the sappy lead guitar solo at the beginning of Nocturnal Hunters. Throughout the album, the symphonic/orchestral elements remain consistently present, with the heavy usage of keyboards as the ambient instrument, constantly shrouding the music in a somewhat mystical atmosphere. The abilities on the various instruments of Al Hazred is constantly tested on the album, not only through the ability to execute each instrument perfectly (such as the blasting sections on the drums), but also through the ability to change playing and musical styles with ease.
The songwriting on the album is also pretty unconventional, with the band often jumping from one style to another with little or no warning, and displays the wide range of influences that the band has included in the creativity process. This can be seen from the numerous neo-classical inspired lead guitar solos that are present, and how the band often chooses to suddenly jump into a full-on black metal section without much warning. The orchestral arrangements and usage of what sounds like a pipe organ on instrumental tracks like Ouverture further bring in a kind of gothic influence in the music, and even sounds like it could easily fit to a movie’s soundtrack, before leading on to the slower and darker Black Mass. Al Hazred also switches vocal styles accordingly, with tracks like The Pentagram seeing him using clean vocals, and riffs that sound like it could come off an 80s hard rock record. Songs like title track Irremediable even sounds like a King Diamond Abigail-era track with a neo-classical edge to it, and even comes complete with falsetto backing vocals, though these come across as slightly weak.
However, on the first few listens to the album, Irremediable can turn out to be quite a disappointment, with tracks that often require a number of listens before really setting in. Furthermore, the somewhat compressed and restrained sound of the album also makes the more aggressive moments on the album like Armageddon Broke sound slightly weak, and this easily led to the album boring me out on the first listen. Also, songs like Black Mass, though promising as a track, tend to end weakly, making the song less enjoyable than it should really be. Coming back to the album after awhile though, leads to numerous pleasant discoveries, and if given the time, Irremediable can be a pretty enjoyable listen. However, if one is looking for an album similar to Melechesh‘s output and one to headbang to, then prepared to be disappointed.