Adramelch – “Irae Melanox” (1988)

Irae Melanox (Metal Master Records) is a very rare LP from the obscure Italian band Adramelch.  As one who has listened to many eighties metal albums, believe me when I say that Irae Melanox is a VERY unique sounding record!  I’m not sure any album captures an atmosphere of the medieval quite like this ol’ Italian relic.  One envisions the members of Adramelch recording the album amongst the ruins of an eleventh century castle by the light of a torch.  The wafer thin, treble-heavy guitar sound seems to enhance the old-timey feel of this recording.  Adramelch’s Irae Melanox can best be described as a mix of power metal and progressive metal.  Irae Melanox features intelligent, well-written lyrics dealing with Satan, Christ, peasants and lords.  The lyrics come off as articulate and generally spooky, not cheesy as one would normally expect.  Shrouded in a veil of black, a special kind of mood may be needed to fully enjoy Irae Melanox.  Favorites include the exquisite Fearful Visions and the album closer, Dreams Of A Jester.  One of the things that keeps me from giving Irae Melanox a really high score is that it is quite progressive.  I’m usually not overly enthusiastic when it comes to prog-metal.  Songs tend to go on too long, and too much time is spent waiting for something cool to happen.  But again, as far as atmosphere, few albums can compare with the gothic, subterranean feel of Irae Melanox.  My score: B

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