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The Meads of Asphodel - "The Murder Of Jesus The Jew" (CD)

The Meads of Asphodel - "The Murder Of Jesus The Jew" CD cover image

"The Murder Of Jesus The Jew" track listing:

1. Boiled In Hell Broth And Grave Dust (Intro) (2:27)
2. My Psychotic Sand Deity (7:22)
3. Apocalypse Of Lazarus (4:34)
4. Addicted To God (8:40)
5. Stiller Of Tempests (3:12)
6. Man From Kerioth (4:03)
7. Dark Gethsemane (3:14)
8. Jew Killer (4:51)
9. Genesis Of Death (9:03)
10. From Eagle To Cross (3:47)
11. Apostle Of The Uncircumcised (6:15)
12. A Canticle For The Lost Amputees Of Aelia Capitolina... (6:14)

Reviewed by on January 20, 2011

"The Meads Of Asphodel has proven themselves to be the future of black metal, and that’s not just some bold prediction or a pull-quote for publicists to drool over. One listen of 'The Murder Of Jesus The Jew' is proof enough."

The Meads Of Asphodel puts an intelligent spin on the lore about Jesus Christ on “The Murder Of Jesus The Jew.” The English black metal group has been ahead of the rest of the scene with their unorthodox songwriting and meshing of just about every genre known to man. “The Murder Of Jesus The Jew” is no different; the only difference is that their fourth album is being released on Candlelight Records, a bigger label than ones they have been involved with in the past. This will allow the band to get a world-wide audience to witness one of the freshest black metal albums in recent memory.

The concept of the album is the band’s perspective on the life of Jesus, taking a factual point-of-view based on a decade of research by vocalist Metatron. Naturally, controversy will not be far behind, especially with the song “Jew Killer.” While some may find the lyrics to be offensive, there is deep meaning behind every song. The band has even put up an entire web page dedicated to the album’s lyrical content. The amount of work that went into constructing the album is outrageous, and shows true conviction to what is being sung.

It is a stretch to consider “The Murder Of Jesus The Jew” as black metal. For over an hour, The Meads Of Asphodel puts their own spin on the genre. The hands claps and synth-pop of “Apocalypse Of Lazarus” resembles Immortal covering a latter-day U2 jam. “Stiller Of Tempests” is a jovial acoustic affair that is too catchy for its own good. Skin-crawling electronics and dejected clean vocals put a depressive aura over “Dark Gethsemane,” while the punk-ish “Man From Kerioth” crackles with snarking attitude.

Where the album reaches its stride is when the band goes the distance in transfixing their uniqueness. “My Psychotic Sand Diety” features a magnificent female vocal choir of Suz Miller, Christina Poupoutsi, and Elle Torry. “Addicted To God” seems like its own mini-Broadway play, with a sudden piano-driven breakdown with soaring vocals and a heavy-as-steel finish. All of these pale in comparison to the grandiose scale of the nine-minute “Genesis Of Death.” The crucifixion of Jesus is told in all its gruesome details, with samples of Jesus being tortured and turning his back on his holy destiny. It all comes to a head with a jazzy, tempered instrumental featuring a minute-plus solo channeling the spirit of 70’s prog.

For the majority of metal heads, “The Murder Of Jesus The Jew” will be the first taste of The Meads Of Asphodel. It’s a hell of an album to introduce into the heads of the unprepared. Sigh’s Mirai Kawashima provides the keys work, while vocal contributions come from Acheron’s Vincent Crowley and Taake’s Hoest. All of these musicians, plus other guests that pop up throughout, work together to create a concept album with an actual message. The more information one gathers on the subject matter, the more comprehensive the album becomes. The Meads Of Asphodel has proven themselves to be the future of black metal, and that’s not just some bold prediction or a pull-quote for publicists to drool over. Only one listen of “The Murder Of Jesus The Jew” is proof enough.

Highs: Thought-provoking concept, brilliant array of eccentric songwriting, throws traditional black metal on its head, great cast of guest musicians

Lows: Very little, though "Genesis Of Death" is a missed opportunity for a perfect closing track.

Bottom line: "The Murder Of Jesus The Jew" is a magnificent album that will grace many Top 10 lists at the end of the year.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)