|Melechesh is a black metal band that originated in Jerusalem. Ashmedi started the band as a solo project in 1993. In the following year, guitarist Moloch and drummer Lord Curse were added to the line-up. The band's goal was to create a type of black metal incorporating extensive Middle Eastern influences mainly based on Mesopotamian/Sumerian and occult themes (both musically and lyrically); the band invented the title "Mesopotamian metal" to best describe their type of metal.
The name Melechesh consists of two Hebrew words, (melech, meaning king) and (esh, meaning fire), a combination which has been originated by the band. The ch is pronounced like the Scottish ch as in the word LOCH or Dutch G(Kh). Another accepted and common pronunciation is MeleKesh.
The band's release in 1995 of the official demo As Jerusalem Burns... and 7" EP The Siege of Lachish attracted attention from both underground metal fans and local authorities. Melechesh were accused of "Dark Cult activities" by the law enforcement authorities of the city of Jerusalem, especially by a frontpage newspaper article which twisted some facts. The charges were eventually dropped.
In 1996, The band released their debut album As Jerusalem Burns...Al´Intisar on an American black metal record label; then newly recruited bassist Al´Hazred completed the line-up. This marked the band as the first signed Non -Israeli band from the Middle East. And also First international signed metal band from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Due to various personal, professional, and demographic reasons the band members had to relocate. 1998 armed with a new promo CD "Mesopotamian Metal" and after a farewell gig in Jerusalem, Israel, Melechesh relocated to France and the Netherlands . Lord Curse remained in Jerusalem and later moved to the USA to continue with his Art studies (and now works for George Lucas' ILM company), hence, the band had to recruit a new drummer. Absu mainman and drummer Proscriptor soon filled the vacant position. From that point on, Melechesh have released two full-length albums: Djinn (2001), dealing with Mesopotamian mythology, and Sphynx (2003), dealing with Mesopotamian/Sumerian mythology while always keeping the dark and Near Eastern occult themes close to their hearts. The band recorded their fourth and highly acclaimed album Emissaries which is available in Europe (Osmose Productions) and by The End Records in the United States and Canada . Meanwhile, Xul has replaced Proscriptor as the band's fulltime drummer. A documentary was begun filming the founder, about his plight to create the band. But it was discontinued as the director stepped down, it's still in progress with a new director though. Curious spirits can read Ashmedi's biographical articles which reveal very personal information about Melechesh's mainman. The articles are posted on several reputable websites and printed magazines around the world, such as Decibel and Legacy magazines.
In March 2010, Melechesh revealed that on April 10 they will enter the studio to record their fifth album for a period of 4-5 weeks. However the band spent almost 12 weeks in the studio perfecting the album with every possible detail. "The Epigenesis" is set to be released via Nuclear Blast records on 1 October 2010 (Europe/world) and 27 October (USA). The album is already gaining critical acclaim with several cover stories across the world and being rated number 1 on the magazine critics' play-lists.