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ISRAEL, Jerusalem

Date Formed 1993

Categories: Black Metal

MELECHESH

Current Members

Past Members

Biography

Mid Eastern "Mesopotamian" Black Metal group MELECHESH, undoubtedly the first overtly anti-Christian band to exist in one of the holiest cities in the world, came to the fore with their 1995 demo 'As Jerusalem Burns... Al' Intisar'. Musically MELECHESH offer a unique amalgam of blackened Thrash imbued with Mediterranean drum patterns and scales with Mesopotamian and Sumerian and occult themes. The group, although created in Jerusalem during 1993 at first as a solo endeavour of vocalist / guitarist Melechesh Ashmedi, actually features no Israeli musicians but a cosmopolitan mix of Armenian, Assyrian, Ukrainian and American blood. With their career expanding MELECHESH actually found themselves operating from Holland, France and the USA.

1994 would witness the recruitment of guitarist Moloch and drummer Lord Curse. Although the low key circulation of rehearsal tapes in that year did not incite much interest the release of the 'As Jerusalem Burns... Al' Intisar' sessions exploded MELECHESH onto the front pages of Jerusalem's biggest newspaper 'Call H'Ayr'. With the practice and promotion of Satanism illegal in the city the band would also come to the attention of the legal authorities.

In 1996 the German Devilish Music Propaganda label made contact with the group resulting in a limited edition 7" EP 'The Siege Of Lachish'. Breath Of Night records in North America also offered a deal, proposing to re-issue the 'As Jerusalem Burns... Al' Intisar' demo on CD format. The band in turn opted to re-record the material for this release. Drawing bassist Al' Hazred into the fold MELECHESH's promotion for these debut releases included the inaugural Black Metal performance in Jerusalem.

In 1998 MELECHESH compiled all of their previous material, including a re-worked version of 'The Siege of Lachish', onto a promotional album. Both Al' Hazred and Melechesh Ashmedi relocated to Holland whilst Moloch moved to France. Signing to the notorious Osmose Productions label MELECHESH recorded the album 'Djinn' in the Netherlands with the esteemed Proscriptor of ABSU repute on drums. Upon completion of recording Proscriptor was announced as a full time member of the band. With the release of 'Djinn' in 2001 the Spanish War Is Imminent label re-released ''As Jerusalem Burns... Al' Intisar' with extra tracks.

Live bass player Butchered, who completed just two gigs with MELECHESH, also had a side project ARALLU. The 2002 re-release of the 'As Jerusalem Burns' album would come with three extra tracks. A third studio album, 'Sphynx', was readied for 2003 release. Recorded at Los Angered Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden 'Sphynx' would be produced by KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy La Rocque and mastered by none other than Attie Bauw. Vinyl variants added an exclusive bonus cover version of CELTIC FROST's 'Babylon Fell'.

With Proscriptor unable to attend live shows in May MELCHESH drafted the FUNERAL WINDS, LIAR OF GOLGOTHA, INFERI, ABODE OF THE BLESSED and THANATOS credited drummer Xul (Yuri Rinkel). Meantime, Proscriptor launched a new label venture in June entitled Tarot Productions. First product would be a solo undertaking PROSCRIPTOR'S THOTH MUSIC(K) for a limited edition EP.

To coincide with MELECHESH's June 2004 headlining performance at the 'Northern Lights' festival in Toronto, Profound Lore Records issued a limited edition 10" vinyl EP, entitled 'The Ziggurat Scrolls'. This comprised a new version of 'Tablets Of Fate', 1998 demos of 'A Summoning Of Ifrit And Genii' and 'Wardjinn' plus 'Of Magick And Reptilians â?? Instrumental Magick'. This final cut would be described as a "Re-interpretation of two MELECHESH riffs morphed to become an occult ritualistic ambient composition with traditional instruments". Bassist Al'Hazred exited in 2004. During November of 2005 the band inducted former stand in drummer Xul (a.k.a. Yuri Rinkel) as replacement for Proscriptor, who left MELECHESH due to "geographic circumstances" and "overlapping time schedules".

MELECHESH returned in October 2006 with the 'Emissaries' album for Osmose Productions. In April 2007 the band formed up with the MARDUK headlined 'Excess Of Evil' European tour backed up by ENSLAVED, KEEP OF KALESSIN, PANTHEON I and GOATWHORE.

Having signed with Germany's Nuclear Blast Records, the band spent June 2009 holed up at the Sulphonic studio in Rotterdam recording album demos. That same month the group's performance at the 'Hellfest' event in Clisson, France was captured on film for 'Ashmedi: A Metal Disporant', a documentary from Tools of the Trade Productions focusing on MELECHESH's Ashmedi.

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