My name is Merel Bechtold, born on 27 February 1992, in Blaricum, the Netherlands. I love music since I can remember. When I was six years old I started playing the piano. I had a lot of musical phases in my early childhood, from the 90’s trance to classical music, 00’s metal like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, instrumental hiphop, Alternative Rock music and eventually when I turned 14, I fell in love with metal again. After discovering bands like In Flames, Arch Enemy and Epica I picked up the guitar at 15 and started my modern melodic death metal band Purest of Pain at 16 years old. We grew as a band and personally I developed a lot as a musician. Our highlights are Wacken Open Air 2014, supporting Suicide Silence and launching our full-length album ‘S O L I P S I S’ through Indiegogo. I am super grateful for all the support that we’ve got!
Thanks to Purest of Pain my whole career as a touring musician started. In October 2014 Isaac Delahaye (Epica, ex-MaYaN) withdrew from MaYaN because of different priorities. He suggested me as his successor. After two kick ass shows I became a permanent member.
In 2015 I joined ‘The Gentle Storm’ the progressive folk rock project of Anneke van Giersbergen&Arjen Lucassen for their shows.
Around that same time I started touring with the symphonic rock/metal group Delain. Once I replaced Timo for a six week European tour alongside Sabaton and Battle Beast. Later that year I joined Delain and we did multiple tours since.
– 2015 European tour with Sabaton
– 2015 European tour with support: The Gentle storm (double duty that tour)
– 2016 North-America tour with Nightwish
– 2016 European tour with support: Evergrey
– 2016 Festivals: Graspop, Download, Masters of Rock,
– 2017 North-America Co-Headline tour with Hammerfall
– 2017 European tour with Marko of Nightwish
– 2017 South-America with Amaranthe and Tarja
– 2018 North-America tour with Kamelot
Currently I am endorsed by vanderMeij Guitars, Monster Energy Drink and Dunlop