My name is Merel Bechtold and I’m a Dutch guitar player/songwriter/producer born on 27 February 1992, in Blaricum, the Netherlands. Maybe you know me from Purest of Pain, MaYan, Delain or the Gentle Storm (Anneke van Giersbergen/Arjen Lucassen) or you just found about me randomly somewhere…
I started playing guitar when I was 15 years old. Soon after I started my first band Purest of Pain. Scandinavian Melodic Metal with a Modern Sound. After two years we started playing bigger shows with (inter)national bands like Suicide Silence, Unearth, MaYaN, Grave, All Shall Perish, Delain and many more. The first EP ‘Revelations in Obscurity’ was released in 2011. In 2013 we released the single ‘Momentum’ and in 2014 we played at the world’s biggest metal festival ‘Wacken Open Air’ in Germany. Thanks to Purest of Pain my career as a musician/guitar player started.
October 2014 MaYaN contacted me to help them out. Isaac Delahaye (Epica, ex-MaYaN) withdrew from the band because of different priorities. He believed in my guitar skills and motivation (we chilled together during the gig I did with Purest of Pain). He suggested me as his successor. After two kick ass shows I became a permanent member.
In 2015 I toured lots with the prog/folk project ‘The Gentle Storm’/Anneke van Giersbergen/Arjen Lucassen.
In that same year I toured a lot with Delain. I replaced the guitar player for a six week European tour alongside Sabaton and Battle Beast. Later that year I joined Delain as a full time member. Since then I did multiple tours in Europe, North-America and Russia. And played on the biggest metal festivals like Download, Hellfest, Summer Breeze, Graspop.
Currently I am releasing the upcoming full-length album ‘S O L I P S I S’ with Purest of Pain.