Ashmedi’s (Melechesh) biographical column & chaotic metaphysical thoughts, Part XV

This was a hectic summer. The album recording took all my time and attention. I lost track of night and day, was locked up in the studio for around over a 100 days. Give or take a few days. So, am I excused for the delay in delivering this edition? I would like to thank everyone for being patient, but, hey, The Epigenesis is born! It is even printed in the pressing plant! That type of born! And, in Europe, in trucks and shops.
The general rhetoric from media and fans is that there is a lot of anticipation for this album. I can assure you, I too am onboard. Four years of writing and almost three months of recording, and now two months of doing interviews and promotion, it is all coming together!

This time, I will avoid diving into the past, as talking about other periods of my life and other releases seem inappropriate during the release of The Epigenesis. So please bear with me people.

Last edition, I was talking about MDF, so let me tell you what happened later. OK, so after the break from recording and going to Maryland for the show, I returned to the Netherlands for a few days and then headed back to Istanbul to finish the recording and the mixing. It was a very healthy break which restored my focus. And I was very glad to be with the rest of the Melechesh guys, as I spent so many hours alone in the studio. It kind of got to me. The vocal performance turned out much better due to the break. The recordings were great. Bizarre but great! I say bizarre because I sung the album naked with only my sage(ian) jewelry. There was a dim red light and some Mesopotamian relics for the atmosphere. The studio is huge so I had this luxury of privacy; the control room was one floor up so I was alone in the vocal booth. I recorded vocals from 9-10 p.m.; till dawn basically. The place had an eerie feel, the engineer was one floor up and the whole floor I was on was empty, desolate, pitch black aside from that tiny red lamp which helped set the atmosphere. The reason I did the vocals in such a way was to invoke a primal instinct and let the vocals be as real (or surreal if you like) as inhumanly possible. It worked. In my opinion, this has been my best vocal performance to date. Reuben our main senior engineer brought me his acoustic sitar. I did some recordings with the electric guitar/sitar hybrid, but this was a different ballgame. A different string game to be precise. I am very much into Indian sitar, but never really played one. I spent two days jamming on the instrument and figuring it out. It felt very natural, not forced or anything like that. After two days I did some recordings with this instrument; it sounded and felt right. Hour after hour, day in and day out, we were reaching our goal. The Epigenesis has started and the giant awakened. So many atmospheres on this album, simple to complex songs, long to short tracks, raw to melodic songs …it is a real album! Comprehensive and organic, definitely metal not plastic! After the mixing, which drained yours truly and after canceling my vacations twice, I finally had a small window to escape to the sun. I went to southern Turkey to a coastal village called Olympos. This place was just what I needed. Very alternative. A hidden gem in a valley between high mountains. All accommodations were basic wooden houses or tree houses, the beach was virgin and protected and to go to it one had to pass Roman ruins and cross a stream. No light pollution, so I could see the Milky Way at night. I did several bon fires at night there. It was very primal. Also managed to go sailing for four days to great places along the Turkish Mediterranean coast. Definitely a healing experience.

Soon after however, I had to return to Europe for some press in Germany at Nuclear Blast’s HQ , then headed to Finland for a festival and then more promo in London. London was great. I met a lot of old and made new friends. Sam, the Jackson Guitars UK artist relations rep came as well. Was nice to finally meet him in person. The Dimmu Borgir guys were also doing press at the same hotel, so we hung out. They are definitely cool guys.

Speaking of Jackson Guitars UK, they provided us with a King V axe to give away in a competition. I reluctantly committed iconoclasm when I was ordered to autograph the guitar, but I was told some people would like it. All the same, I thought this was very cool of the guitar company.

Changing subjects many have been speculating about the documentary which was being made about yours truly. The situation is as follows; I am the subject there, not the creator, so I don’t have much to elaborate on. But what I can say is that the first part of the film was lost! And later on, the maker was experiencing some hindering medical issues. Another film maker took over the project. I suppose sooner or later more info will be available, but rest assured it will be finished and it won’t take this long this time.

Touring, well, it will be a busy period. The Sumerian sonic magick campaigns will start in a couple of months. We have a mini tour in central Europe “Awakening the Giants”, where we will play 4-5 dates that feature an extended set, some jam sessions and some songs we won’t play in other shows. January we hit the road with Nile in Europe. From the feedback I have been getting people seem to be glad this is finally happening. We sure are. A Near Eastern Mythological extravaganza! Shortly after this we will go on tour in the USA with Rotting Christ. Mediterranean Mystical extravaganza!

I really have to go now and practice my guitar. Hopefully as of now I will be delivering my articles on a more regular basis again! Next time I will continue with the chronological story. I am enjoying some good wine, so it is fitting to say, cheers , proost, salud, sherefe, lehaym, sihtak, kong chien, skaal, santé, yamas, kampai, budem…

Melechesh’s The Epigenesis is out October 25, 2010. Order it here before the whirling sands of the Near East engulf humanity. A bit hyperbolic, but it works, no?