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The Epigenesis


MELECHESH - The Epigenesis

Released on: 2010-10-01

Founded by a young guitarist named Ashmedi in the city of Jerusalem back in 1993, MELECHESH has always been a visionary band that invented a genre on 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 eventually moved to Europe in 1998 due to several demographic 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 were located all over the world, in 2003 the 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” by Terrorizer magazine, ranking as one of the top 10 metal releases of 2003 and one of the best 100 albums of the decade.

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. His interesting autobiographical stories have been 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. And so, with the newly recruited Rahm on bass, in 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 any Scandinavian or US studio. “The Epigenesis” was recorded in Istanbul’s newly built first class Babajim Studio. Amongst other surprises, the album incorporates more organic elements, subtly integrating traditional instruments (such as yaylı tanbur, Azeri tar, Baglama/Saz, Indian sitar and Persian santur), 12-string guitars and leaving room for jam-like improvisations that channel the inspiring aura of Istanbul, a city that has always been a melting point for cultures, for east and west… This is sonic magick!

Track list Total runtime
1 - Ghouls Of Nineveh 6:46
2 - Grand Gathas Of Baal Sin 5:58
3 - Sacred Geometry 5:31
4 - The Magickan And The Drones 7:19
5 - Mystics Of The Pillar 8:31
6 - When Halos Of Candles Collide (instrumental) 5:39
7 - Defeating The Giants 3:26
8 - Illumination: The Face Of Shamash 5:35
9 - Negative Theology 3:51
10 - A Greater Chain Of Being (instrumental) 6:53
11 - The Epigenesis 12:18