Decibrity Playlist: Melechesh

Ashmedi is no stranger to this blog, having authored a 17-part “biographical column and chaotic metaphysical thoughts” series that ended in 2011. Now that his band Melechesh has returned with its first album since 2010, we’re happy to welcome his voice back in the form of a playlist. There’s no theme per se, but it’s clear each record had a profound effect on him. You can pre-order a copy of the group’s latest LP, Enki, here.

Judas Priest–Painkiller (1990)
Painkiller is in-fuckin’-sane. Imagine a band that is a pioneer in twin guitars after so many years of radio friendly tracks (which are excellent as well) makes an angry album that is the definition of heavy metal. Raging vocals and riffs, pounding drums, catchy bridges and choruses. Can a metal lover ask for more? The “Painkiller” video clip is still one of my all time favorites, simple but effective. Their charisma and good editing renders expensive sets or props obsolete. “A Touch of Evil” is the hymn for the night!

The Tea Party–The Edges Of Twilight (1995)
A great band I got introduced to while recording one of the Melechesh albums. We later did an adaptation to one of their songs. The Edges of Twilight is a rock, blues, occult album. Middle eastern music is all over this gem with hints of The Doors and Led Zeppelin, though in my opinion they even sound better. Each and every song is just amazing, from “Inanna” to “The Bazaar” and from “Drawing Down the Moon” instrumental to the great epic “Walk With Me”. It is criminal this band is not too known in USA.

Bathory–The Return…… (1985)
I say Bathory made me do it. I started Melechesh because of this album. It is the definition of evil, raw, punk in attitude. This and their debut became the blueprints (more like the blackprints) of black metal. I was at a friend’s house, everyone was playing pool or snooker. I wanted to check his LP collection. I knew Bathory but didn’t know this album. I was tired from over-polished and cheesy releases, and this gave me goosebumps. “I’m possessed!” One of the best tracks is “Total Destruction”. Raw, intimidating, dark, punk…deadly.

Secret Chiefs 3–Book Of Horizons (2004)
A band with several different setups, Trey [Spruance], the founding member of Mr. Bungle and ex-Faith No More, wrote me once and introduced me to his new band. I was stunned and in awe. This is music, this is art, this is fusion and culture. From all sorts of “easternisms”, be it Tibetan or Arabic, to surf rock, electronic and even grindcore. I often told Trey that they should play in museums, this is sonic art. Seeing them live restored my faith in music.

Socrates Drank The Conium–On The Wings (1973)
While in Athens recording our new album, a lovely lady took me to this great rock bar. The owners and staff DJ there some good hard rock LPs and when I heard the track “Death Is Gonna Die”, I flipped! Such an outstanding number and I kinda got [reminded of] the song “Fear” by Heaven and Hell, uncanny similarities. But this was recorded in 1973 not in 2009. Good progressive rock from Greece at a time the world was just tripping out. “Death Is Gonna Die” is one of my all time favorite songs.

*Pre-order a copy of Melechesh’s Enki here

**For past Decibrity entries, click here