Melechesh live at The Joint, 16th June 2013

By on 18 June 2013

Assyrian black metallers Melechesh have just kicked off a US tour and Terrorizer’s Joshua Sindell was present for the first date at The Joint in Los Angeles…

Black metal isn’t meant for the pubs and bars of this world, and The Joint is a far-from-optimal stage on which to invoke unholy terrors from man’s darkest nightmares. Even though they’d much rather be playing a murky crypt, local crew Lightning Swords Of Death still manage to sound extremely well-rehearsed, powerful, and abrasive, with strong-lunged frontman Autarch’s vocals piercing and soaring. LSOD clearly worship Venom, and that’s cool, but the S&M clobber looks a little daft in this setting.

Instead, ‘black and roll’ is a far more appropriate sound for this venue, and Vreid are easily the most entertaining band of the night. Unafraid to mix up their BM basics with prog and traditional metal sounds, the Norwegians put on an unpretentious show that animates the audience through upbeat tempos and thrilling solos. Singer-guitarist Sture moves from clean vocals to growls as adeptly as anyone in the field, and the entire band has a winning confidence and ease.

Which, sadly, is exactly what Melechesh lack. Sure, once the Jerusalem-based Assyrian black metallers get going on a song, the snaking guitar lines and Middle Eastern-flavoured melodies are quite absorbing. And leader Ashmedi pulls off some extremely challenging guitar licks while roaring like a lion. Yet the members of Melechesh seem uneasy between tunes, either due to technical difficulties or a language/cultural barrier. Still, the burqas worn during the opening number were a nice touch.

Words: Joshua Sindell

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