Miqedem did it again. The Messianic Israeli band based out of Tel Aviv just released their second album. Since 2015, their members have been combining the old with the new to bring a pretty tight mix of Middle Eastern Israeli flavor with a modern edge. They released their first album under the eponymous titled Miqedem in May 2016. The lyrics to the songs on the first album all came directly from the Tanach. The new album, simply titled Vol. II, continues down the same path.
If you like instruments and vocals floating in a lot of reverb as I do, you will enjoy these tracks. The musicianship on the new album is impressive and the production quality is top notch, which is important to me because then the listener is able to soak in the songs without distractions from the technical side of things. Some of the chord progressions and time signatures caused me to tilt my head quizzically to the side (in a good way) at various points throughout several of the songs, but those creative breaks from convention are some of the aspects that I enjoyed most about the album. The album has some exotic scales and instrumentation choices, but at the same time, we hear electric guitars churning away, at points in unison with the vocals, to create a harder feel that commands your attention. On other tracks, horns provide rich beds and dramatic swells.
Most of the songs are taken from the Psalms, and unlike most artists who borrow from the Scriptures, Miqedem sometimes sings through the entire Psalm. I was excited to see that there were some Psalms from the Hallel (Psalm 113-118). I am a sucker for the Hallel-based songs. I might even be guilty of binge watching videos of liturgical and popular treatments of the Hallel on YouTube for hours on end. Anytime you can sing an entire Psalm, especially a Psalm from the Hallel, in Hebrew, I’m sold.
Get this album. You will experience chord progressions, instrumentation, and Middle-East/Western mashups that will take you into territory into which you may never have gone before, but Miqedem will gently lead you by the hand every step of the way and assure you that it’s gonna be alright.
Go check them out on Band Camp. They are also working on making their album available on other mediums such as Spotify, iTunes, etc. They are currently touring in the States, so if you would like to see them live, check out their Facebook page.
If you would like to know what Scriptures they are using on the new album, I took notes as I listened through the track list:
Miqedem Volume II by Miqedem Track List
- Track 1: Chanun Verachum - Psalm 111:1-4 112:1-4
- Track 2: Betzet Yisrael - Psalm 113
- Track 3: Ba’erev Yalin - Psalm 30:3-12
- Track 4: Chasdei Adonai - Psalm 89:1-2, 89:11-12
- Track 5: Ahavti - Psalm 116:1-2, 116:19
- Track 6: Shabechuhu - Psalm 117
- Track 7: Kumi Roni - Lamentations 2:19
- Track 8: Ad Ana - Psalm 13
- Track 9: Shir lama’alot - Psalm 121:1-5
- Track 10: Kovei Adonai - Isaiah 40:31
- Track 11: Ashrei Ha’ish - Psalm 1:1-3
- Track 12: Adonai Ro’i - Psalm 23