MELECHESH/BLEEDING GODS/ COMMANDER
THE DOME, LONDON
AUSTRIAN AND ISRAELI METAL DEVIANTS INVADE THE SENSES
OPENING THE UK date of the Summer Totenritual Crusade, German quartet COMMANDER’S  rhythmic eruptions and guitar harmonies provide a robust entry, but some of the lightning-fast death metal riffing loses impact at lower registers. Thankfully, the addition of keyboardist David Rojas equips BLEEDING GODS’  epic black metal with a thick, gothic atmosphere. The stabbing chord framework of From Feast To Beast is a highlight, as the Dutch six-pack bite with vigour. Next up, MELECHESH  unfurl a tantalising weave of Middle Eastern influence. Expansive melodies linger as frontman Ashmedi coaxes his audience into a trance of swaying and chanting. The Israeli exiles’ cultural deviation even extends to their playing technique; Ashmedi strikes his guitar strings with a drumstick, simulating the rabab – an eighth-century Arabic instrument. It’s enveloping, hypnotic and over too soon. “Save your prayers, God is not here,” rasps Helmuth Lehner, preaching dark poetic sermons between towering excerpts from last year’s Totenritual. Two skeletal pillars on the stage threaten ritual sacrifice as the extreme metal savagery of BELPHEGOR
 impacts with pleasurably unrelenting tension. From Devil’s Son to Gasmask Terror, each song cannons forcefully with a cinematic accompaniment of aggressive lighting and smoke. An expertly delivered showcase rounds off with an imposing rendition of single Baphomet, and the thick, appreciative display of devil horns feels sinfully purposeful.
melechesh’s ashmedi makes an almighty djinn
Belphegor: bloody-minded death black metal