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Melechesh - »Enki«

Sunday, January 11, 2015 - by Nuclear Blast

Pioneers of Sumerian thrashing black metal, MELECHESH, recently released the lyric video for the song 'Multiple Truths'. 

This song is par of ZanZanA WebRadiO playlist.

Founded by a young guitarist who adopted the alias  “Ashmedi “ in the city of Jerusalem back in 1993, MELECHESH has always been a visionary band that invented a genre of its own. Melting raw black metal with Mediterranean drum patterns and guitar scales was the idea and resulted in a phenomenal demo (»As Jerusalem Burns«) and a 7” EP (»The Siege Of Lachish«) which gained the band a certain popularity in the first place. However the first album »As Jerusalem Burns… Al’Intisar« was the one to put Jerusalem and Bethlehem on the map of extreme metal, making MELECHESH the first non-Israeli metal band from the Middle East to get signed – and the first ever metal band out of Jerusalem with a record deal. Ashmedi and the rest of the members eventually moved to Europe and USA in 1998 due to several demographic, artistic and socio-political reasons.

The following year saw the recruitment of Proscriptor (from ABSU) on drums and a three-album deal with Osmose Productions. The new album, »Djinn«, was characterized by its subtle mix between extreme metal and Middle Eastern sounds, taking the bands brand to another level.

Although the band members being located all over the world, in 2003 determined Ashmedi took the next step. »Sphynx« (featuring an epic cover illustrated by Ron Woodall from George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic) brought the band a whole lot thrashier sound without denying their black metal roots. The album was greeted as “Sumerian thrashing black metal”, ranking as one of the top 10 metal releases of 2003 and one of the best 100 albums of the decade by Terrorizer magazine. 

The following years also brought MELECHESH back to the live scene, playing festivals in Europe and North America. With Proscriptor living in the United States however, MELECHESH needed to recruit session drummer Xul who in 2005 would eventually replace Proscriptor once the band entered the writing phase for their fourth album, »Emissaries«.  The effort would be delayed by almost a year because of a mixing problem. »Emissaries« was finally released on 30 October 2006 (European/world date) and January 23, 2007 in the United States. According to their label this was the most expensive album for Osmose Productions after IMMORTAL’s »Blizzard Beasts«. The bands fourth record got greeted as proof of MELECHESH’s determined character. According to Zero Tolerance magazine the album “stands majestically tall as a supreme victory for a band prepared to challenge the limits of what they can achieve” and USA’s Spin Magazine ambitiously praised the band as “setting the bar for metal in 2007”. The album was album of the month in several magazines and/or album of the year in 2006 and 2007. »Emissaries« also confirmed that MELECHESH’s music was made to be played live, and so the band toured Europe in 2008 and several shows in North America and played numerous international festivals (Party San, Hellfest, Kaltenbach, Hole in the Sky, Maryland Deathfest….) and took them all the way to distant and unlikely places such as Dubai and Armenia.

The same year, MELECHESH took another step and signed with Nuclear Blast Records. Shortly before the new album went to the planning stages, Ashmedi was asked to write a monthly column about his life and thoughts. Still going his interesting autobiographical stories are being published worldwide by several big print & online publications which gained the band even more interest from all over the world and pushed the name already in advance of the album. 

This multidimensional aspect is characteristic for a band that constantly seeks to explore the many facets of the subgenre it forged within the extreme metal scene. Preferring quality to quantity, musical honesty over trend, MELECHESH is answering a call. April 2010 the band was set to to record their fifth album »The Epigenesis«. Against all trends the band went eastwards rather than going for the norm. »The Epigenesis« was recorded in Istanbul’s newly built first class Babajim Studio.

Responses to »The Epigenesis« were outstanding with several cover stories and again album considered album of the Month or of the year. Post »The Epigenesis« release MELECHESH set out to tour like the nomadic souls they are. Aside from appearing in numerous festivals, the band did 8 tours of which 3 were North American tours. This spread the MELECHESH molecule even further and to more crowds around the globe.  

2012 Ashmedi was the subject of an episode for the Canadian reality TV show “The Cool Guy Files” which explores interesting jobs of various people from pro snowboarding to musicians ...the show was syndicated in several countries in Asia and Europe. That same year Scorpios joined the band as the bass player and backing vocalist.  In the summer 2013 Ashmedi felt the need to revamp the band’s line up for the sake of musical longevity and prevent stagnation. Drummer Xul was asked to leave on amicable terms and the writing Sessions started. Long-time friend and member Moloch has been a passive member due to his personal circumstances and commitments so it was agreed he should step back and give his position to someone more involved.  During that period as in any organization or entity the shake-up was, wrong people were approaching the band to join some had alterior motives others just unprepared, some so eager to be announced in the band despite lack of commitment, this caused some delays in the writing process.  Through trial and error Ashmedi managed to filter such outside noise, distractions and counter-productive and focus on writing one of the best albums ever written by MELECHESH. Such aspects added that extra angry edge to the writing process. Soon after, Moloch rejoined the band strictly as a recording member but not a touring one, which basically was the situation since 2011.  

Summer 2014 MELECHESH set off to record their 6th album entitled »Enki«.  Almost all of the music including the drums composing and arrangements and lyrics was again written and produced by Ashmedi.  MELECHESH spent one month in their rehearsal room in Hinzweile , Germany rehearsing the Material  and then entered the studios in Athens, Greece for the recording sessions of »Enki«. The band wanted a Mediterranean place to record to capture the essence of the band’s origins. The drums were recorded at Devasoundz Studios engineered by Fotis Benardo, while the rest was recorded at Grindhouse Studio by George Bokos.  The process was intense and long, 2.5 months later the band returned to their new HQ in Germany and did additional recordings at Scoprios’ Oneironaut Studio, Moloch flew in to the studio to record his parts including the Levantine traditional instrument- Bouzque. The album was then mixed and Mastered at Black Lounge Studio in Sweden by Jonas Kjellgren.  Drums were initially recorded a session drummer, but had to be rerecorded later by none other than long-time friend and member of the MELECHESH society Lord Curse, the band’s first drummer who appears on MELECHESH first Demos , Album and Ep.   

»Enki« features 12 string electric guitars aside from the 6 string played on the entire album, for a heavier and subtly richer harmonic sound. The band also tuned their instruments to the pitch perfect 432 Hz frequency rather than the standardized 440 Hz one for a deeper sonic experience within the human psyche and in accordance to vibrations of the universe. »Enki« also features esteemed friends of the MELECHESH society guest vocalists Max Cavalera and Sakis Tolis as well as guest lead by Rob Caggiano.
With so many nationalities in the band MELECHESH and constant labelling, the band, MELECHESH became more comfortable as being labelled MELECHESH from planet earth or just Jerusalem (as the source of origin) without adhering to many man-made virtual borders.  To the band this is metaphorical rebellion. 

With this deep and personal album filled with metaphor, spiritual, and philosophical references,  and further development of their own Mesopotamian Metal, MELECHESH are yet again ready to spread their sonic magic, enlightened revelations and art to the cosmos.

This is Sonic Magick 

  • 01. Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged
  • 02. The Pendulum Speaks
  • 03. Lost Tribes
  • 04. Multiple Truths
  • 05. Enki - Divine Nature Awoken
  • 06. Metatron And Man
  • 07. The Palm The Eye And Lapis Lazuli
  • 08. Doorways To Irkala
  • 09. The Outsiders
Line up:
  • Ashmedi | vocals & guitar
  • Scorpios | bass
  • Moloch | guitar
  • Lord Curse| drums

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