MELECHESH + W.E.B. + SELVANS
Boston Music Rooms, London
12th of January 2020
Review and Photography by Johnny Wolf
Videos by Michal Lipinski
It’s the next morning after the gig and I simply still cannot get over how great Melechesh was! A night of true Assyrian blasphemy and ancient provocation. Being of Syrian descent myself makes me proud of Melechesh, as I feel a connection to this band like no other.
Melechesh is a showcase of our dark and evil Assyrian history, which was demolished by the Arabic/Islamic invasion of Levant. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I feel like such history needs be revived, the revival of the old days and the true magic of ancient Assyria, removing what current religions have destroyed in many countries in the middle-east.
The Boston Music Rooms, where this event is taking place, is always great cradle for black metal. On stage first is Selvans (pronounced Selva), a fairly new band from Italy, they appeared around 2014 but are also fairly active; with two full-length albums and an EP thus far, they definitely have been busy. The band came on stage all but the singer, wearing loose clothing with necklaces made of small bones, a very theatrical looking band.
The vocalist runs on stage right at the first riff, dressed up like an undertaker, a rather cool one with the hat and lots of bones and skulls. He had a large ram skull hanging about his neck. Both guitarists were playing on 7 strings and they all sounded highly professional but something about that performance didn’t get to me, I didn’t feel hooked, instead I got to a point where I felt the set was too long now.
The venue was slowly getting busy, but it’s a Sunday night so it wasn’t as busy as one would like, nonetheless the crowd nodded slowly in enjoyment.
By the end of the set the front-man grabbed a large drum and joined the drummer using a two large bones for a few hits. It added a little bit of confusion to the mix as his drumming wasn’t on note nor looked relative much but it was a way to end the set I believe.
W.E.B. sets up next, a four piece from Greece. I personally believe I have never witnessed a bad Greek band, it seems like hellish black metal has some sort of high standards always! This band consisted of three front members (two guitarist and a lady bassist) and a drummer, the guitar players all performing vocals and backing vocals. Their three mics in front had three human skulls on each and the band’s attire had a very goth-y look to them, with all the latex and long coats.
The vocalist asked the crowd to raise their horns up to perform the second number, which sounded a bit slower at the beginning but build up after a few minutes in to faster, more brutal riffs and heavy chugs.
W.E.B. performed fantastically, a highly energetic performance on stage where the members moved around a lot and gave it 110%, headbanging in synch and doing their best to get the crowd involved – the crowd certainly responded well.
The front-man went to the back to put on a skull mask that he used for the next number, which he later during the song removed and went back to his human form again. But instead of appearing on stage he surprised the crowd by coming down in between them and shouting “come on”.
The final hour has arrived, the Assyrian demons steps foot on stage, they are in human shape that goes by the name Melechesh…
The Master, Ashmedi reveals himself on stage last, in the midst of followers’ loud excitement, strumming his first riff and demanding his followers to prove their worthiness by cheering.
He takes a step back to kick off his storm with a blessing. Starting with “Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged”, a scary story about the ancient Mesopotamian God of storms, wind and air, Enlil. The place was struck by a storm very quickly and a hurricane was generated by the bodies of followers moshing into each other, then circling around to the rhythm. I love how this track ends with Arabic curse Ylaan Rabbak (Damn your God), perfect utilisation for a very powerful Arabic curse.
The flow of solos and melodies never end with Melechesh, one after another it keeps hitting you harder and harder, it has this feel to it like a continuous chain of nonstop riffing and blast-beats that keep smacking you in the face till your eyes bleed.
Master Ashmedi decides to enrage us with an old, fast number to get us headbanging: “not that anyone needed encouragement, my neck still hurts today”. Nonetheless, “Ladders to Sumeria” was next from the album Emissaries, one of my absolute favourites.
A few more old ones, the venue has turned into one of inferno’s circles thus far, and Master Ashmedi introduces his idea about opinions; just like arse-holes everybody has one! With that he kicked off “Multiple Truths”. Dominating the stage back and forth, showing off his axe skills, right above our heads, bringing the flood all over to drown us with black arts and ceremonies.
The set was finished, Melechesh left the stage and us in pieces, but we had to demand more, there was no way we’re leaving already. Melechesh blessed us with one last one.
The ancient Sumerian Gods were pleased with the tribute, the Djinn danced to the riffs and us followers had a small taste of hell’s murky oil and Zaqqoum, that does not satisfy the receiver and keeps them wanting more! Hoping to see Melechesh again really soon.
Setlist: Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged / Ladders To Sumeria / Grand Gathas Of Baal Sin / Deluge Of Delusional Dreams / Multiple Truths / Defeating The Giants / Triangular Tattvic Fire / Ghouls Of Nineveh / Rebirth Of The Nemesis / Encore: The Pendulum Speaks