King of the Fire: Melechesh

interview Melechesh

In mid 1993, MELECHESH, the black entity of the Mediterranean/Near East-Middle East was born, a malicious seed, being then a solo project of Melechesh Ashmedi. However by early ’94, MELECHESH turned into a real and established band making them the First Band of such nature to ever exist in the Holy cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, composed of Melechesh Ashmedi (guitars / vocs), Moloch (guitars) and Lord Curse (drums). That year didn’t witness any studio recordings, nevertheless there were a couple of rehearsal tapes, officially not released that vainly circulated in the underground. It wasn’t until 1995, that the debut demo ’As Jerusalem Burns’ was released, it dispersed quickly in the international black metal underground scene, and received a very good response. By the time a lot has been happening in Jerusalem: the main city newspaper entitled Call H’ayr (meaning ’All the city’), did a front page article and interview with MELECHESH, where the band was described as being the only satanic cult, whose goal is to desecrate the heart of God in which they resided, and referring to the Assyrians and old Mesopotamia as ancestors and main inspiration. Such matters weren’t that serious until that MELECHESH was wanted by the police, as they claimed to have Satanism illegal in the holy city…

On the other hand, and besides these anecdotes, in mid 1996, DEVILISH MUSIC PROPAGANDA (Ger) contacted MELECHESH for a 7’EP, two months later, ’The Siege Of Lachish’ 7’EP was released, limited to 666 copies. The 7’EP didn’t spread much, for it was only exposed to the perverse public that D.M.P dealt with (Queen of Porno & S/M, cults and other extreme organizations). Besides the limited promotion, the 7’EP portrayed what MELECHESH meant by Mesopotamian Black Metal with the title track; the use of oriental scales and rhythms in Black Metal. Meanwhile, BREATH OF NIGHT Recs (U.S) got in touch with Melechesh after hearing the demo that they received through tape trading. BoN Recs appreciated the demo for the raw sound and underground feel that it had to it, thus wanting to re-release the same demo on C.D. Debating the offer, MELECHESH decided to re-record the material and went in the studio to work on what was to be our first album ’As Jerusalem Burns…Al’Intisar’, co-released with PULVERIZER Recs. MELECHESH played some concerts, namely the first black metal gig in Jerusalem and some underground festivals around the country. All this giving MELECHESH a good live reputation at that time Bass player Al Hazred relocated to The Netherlands.

Two years after the release of the album (end of ’96), MELECHESH compiled all new material and recorded a promotional CD, containing 5 new songs (including a ’new’ version of The Siege of Lachish) in order to search for a deal for a second album. A month after the recording, Melechesh Ashmedi (guitar/vocs) left Jerusalem to join Al Hazred to continue MELECHESH in The Netherlands. 1999 Moloch Moved to France and long time friend Proscriptor of the Mighty ABSU joined Melechesh to play on their Next Album. 2000 , all the Melechesh members met in the Netherlands and recorded their second Album , and Debut on OSMOSE.. DJINN. Proscriptor officially became the Drummer of MELECHESH
2001 will witness the release of the MESOPOTAMIAN METAL MATERPIECE DJINN, which defines what Mesopotamian Metal is for Generations to come.

The Line Up:
Ashmedi: Vocals and Guitars
Moloch :Guitars
Proscriptor :Drums
AlHazred :Bass

interview with Ashmedi on 7-5-2001

Please introduce yourself and your part in the band?
I am Ashmedi, guitarist/vocalist and founder of Melechesh

What does the name Melechesh mean?
The word Melechesh is derived from a Hebrew sentce Melech Ha Esh, which means king of the Fire, we cut it and Made it into a name Melechesh (KINGFIRE).. we used this name cause it has a mystic sound to it and very original. And it cannot be ripped off, furthermore the Word Melech appears a lot in Occult.

Why decide you to leave the Holy Land?
Many personal reasons AlHazred (our Bass Player left in 1996, he was originally from the Ukrane, and he did not want to stay in Jerusalem. So he Moved to Amsterdam, in 1998 I moved to Amsterdam as well and Moloch moved to the North of France in 1999.

To be specific the reasons were Musically we could not progress there anymore. In the past we were very suppressed there, but then even after that suppression sort of faded away, we reached a point where we could not go forward there.

Personnally also we could not progress, you know Twan, we are not Israelis and not Jewish ..unfortunately that led to some discrimination from the Government against us!

It was very unfortunate..cause we havemany great Israeli and Palestinian friends there, but we did not have the same rights as Israeli’s.

Do you like living in the Netherlands?
Yes I like it very much, the Music scene is developed and supported. We know some cool people here.

Do you like the dutch food?
Besides Boerkool, zuurkol, hotspot, patat and poffertjes.. there is not a big cuisine! I enjoy good cuisines, like the French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Greek/Mediterranean, and I like cooking, but here people eat so as not to die that’s all, not for the sheer pleasure of it.. ha ha ha, but I really like the dutch dishes I mentioned before.

I hate saté though it is really far eastern. And I hate the fact that in Snack Bars the Tomato Ketchup really sucks.

Isn’t it difficult with a overseas drummer?
Yes sometimes.. cause we cannot rehearse regularly.. hoever having an international Band does, have its pluses.. for instance we have time to write music, each one alone..thus come up with good riffs.. but so far it is working out.

With Proscriptor touring is not easy. Is this a big problem?
Well we agreed not to let our schedules overlap.. besides ABSU does not tour very often and we still haven’t got an organised tour yet.

Does the lyrics mean a lot to the band?
Yes they do. Together with the music, the lyrics will help take the listerner to places never visited before. The have many metaphors, and deal with the Djinn (Genii) and other Mediterraniean/Mesopotamian Mysticism

What are your inspiration sources?
The places where we have been, where we Lived.. our ancestral past, the great Mesopotamian Culture.. all Mid eastern Occultism and the literature we have.

Do you think you can explore new ways in the music style?
We will always Keep developing the Mesopotamina Metal style that we have Invented.. but the main condition is to reamain extreme metal

What bands do you like yourself?
I like very much Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Carpathian Forest, Absu, Bathory, Immolation, Terrorizer and many other styles of Metal and Music.

What kind of music do you disaprove?
The product Music.. done with no Feeling and just for Business.. I hate this MTV stuff IT RAPES MY EARS whenever I am in a public place

Can you enjoy porn movies?
Not always, it depends how good the movie is, I hate the Music they use and the stupid clothes some wear.. and dialogues SUCK JUST FUCK and shut up.. that is how a movie should be. The movie which I will produce SHALL BE a METAL PORN MILESTONE .

Your last rites?
To those who haven’t heard Melechesh.. Give it a listen.. this album has a different KIND of CALCULATED HEAVINESS.. it grows on the listeners.. and thus experience Mesopotamian METAL. Twan thanks for your support man.

Interviewer: Twan

May 7, 2001

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