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DAKHMA
DAKHMA
Passageways To Daena (The Concomitant Blessings Of Putrescing Impurity)
(self-financed)
52:11min

The blessings of the modern age... Thirty years ago, this album might not have been possible, especially not like this. It would have costed a lot of money to record and release a full album on your own. Nowadays it just takes a man with a certain vision and a some understanding for modern technology to do it. In this case, the man with the vision is a young man named Kerberos, usually active in a rather new Swiss Black Metal band called LYKHAEON. Besides working on the first album of his main band, he had enough time to record a full length for his solo project as well. This project is a typical one man band and was called DAKHMA, the album was baptized “Passageways To Daena (The Concomitant Blessings Of Putrescing Impurity)“ (what a long and difficult to remember title!). And the vision of Kerberos was lyrically embedded in the rituals of the Zoroastrian religion of ancient Persia and India. The name DAKHMA also derives from this religion, since the Persian word “dakhma” means “grave” in English and is also known as “the towers of silence”, used for laying the dead to get eaten by birds. Find more information about this funeral ritual here. Musically, DAKHMA can be described as very diversified Death Metal that was more than just blackened, it was literally infiltrated with blackness. As for the atmosphere, Swiss country mates BÖLZER come to mind, since Kerberos created a similar density and thickness in the flow on this album, yet his approach is often more primordial in riffing. The opening bolts from the black, 'Barashnûm (Defiled By Dead Flesh)' and 'Where Shattered Minds Collide (The Immortal March)', already set the course. With the impressing 'Ascension' trilogy, DAKHMA show all their various sides, since the first part (subtitled 'Flesh And Bone') is pretty much rooted in Black Metal. The long and awesome centerpiece 'Ascension II (The Light Eternal)' is a doomy epic, refined with elements and the atmosphere of the ancient Middle East and some Ambient influenced quiet breaks. The trilogy finale 'Chinvat (Ascension III – Agony)' is not much more than ambient samples, pretty relaxing in the face of the following crunching duo 'Consuming The Nasu (Of Shredded Impurity)' and 'Of Charred Flesh (Blessed By Illuminating Fire)'. The album has a grand finale as well, with the fantastic 'The Silent Tower (Gather Ye Of Life)', a monolith of blackness. Can there be a better way to close a fascinating album like this? I guess not. Well, this album might not have been possible in the pre-digital age. And that would have been a real pity. So, give Kerberos and DAKHMA a fair chance and visit http://dakhmacavern.bandcamp.com, where you can download “Passageways To Daena (The Concomitant Blessings Of Putrescing Impurity“ for free.

Thomas Meyer

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DAKHMA
DAKHMA
Passageways To Daena (The Concomitant Blessings Of Putrescing Impurity)
(Godz Ov War Productions)
67:32min

Dakhma, the tower of silence - an ancient Zoroastian building, to prevent the bodies of the dead (which would be infested with the corpse-demon the daeva Nasu, also known as Nas or Nasa), to pollute earth or fire, as those are sacred. Instead the bodies of the deceased were put on top of the tower of silence, where scavenging birds (of human sorrow) and the sun would dispose of the dead. Even NILE did a track about the tower on "Those Whom The Gods Detest", where 'Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual In The Abandoned Towers Of Silence' touches the subject. As, you have read the paragraph prior to this, I don't think it'll come as a surprise that Swiss DAKHMA has settled their universe around Zoroastrian (an ancient religion, with its outspring in Persia, dating back to the 5th century before Christ (or well, records of it started to appear around that period of time) rituals and afterlife. This album, the band released themselves in 2015 digitally and somehow it has ended up in the dark offices of Godz Of War Productions in Poland, and they have decided to give the album a proper release. We get the original 8 tracks and a cover of BATHORY's 'Call From The Grave' and the so far as I can research, the unreleased track 'Rite Of Daebaaman (The Spiritual Invocation Of Akem Manah)'. I can understand why the label has picked up this album, for a proper release, as DAKHMA offers a quite dark and atmospheric style of Black / Death Metal, which sets them apart from a lot of other bands these days. We have the obvious MORBID ANGEL inspirations, which is heard in the blistering and technically guitars solos here and there, you don't do a cover version of BATHORY if that isn't an inspirational source, though one of the more subtle. The music is build upon dark and noisy, though mesmerizing guitar and bass riffs, and percussion-like drumming, at times, for parts of the album, the rhythm is driven by the distorted bass riffs, together with the guitars - they drive the songs forward with a captivating pulse, so you don't miss the drums to hold the beat tight all the way through - even though we are getting the right dose of tradtional drumming and double kick blasts. Wicked screams, growls and screeches, most fitting when used. It takes a good deal of songwriting skills to put together interesting tunes like this, for that matter an whole album, though the duo has managed to do that quite well, kudos! Though, one thing that I don't fully understand all the time, are the intermezzos, some are fitting, the one in the middle of the last bonus track, works really well and lifts the song from being mysterious to quite scary, though track 5 'Chinvat (Ascension III - Agony)' which is a pure piece of rumbling noise, seems a but superfluent for the whole of the album, and there are a couple of other examples of where the noise is taken a bit to far, of what was needed to make the point. That written, it is quite a complete album DAKHMA has made, and great to see it has received a proper release on a good label - do you want to miss out? Dive into the chaos of Ahriman and enter the gate of night via these sites: www.facebook.com/dakhmacavern, http://dakhmacavern.bandcamp.com, www.godzovwar.com

Anders Peter Jřrgensen

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