Friday 19 February 2016

Dakhma (Switzerland) - Astiwihad-Zohr


1. Libation (Unto the Blessed Flame)
2. Procession (Feed From the Skull)
3. Spirit (From the Plane)
4, Altar (Flesh Upon Me)

Despite all of the current events that provide inspiration to today's extreme metal bands, there's still those who prefer to channel their energies into something more occult and even mystical. One such band that falls into the latter category is Swiss black/death entity Dakhma, though my broad categorisation may be way off the mark. Dakhma began releasing music focusing on the afterlife and occult rituals last year, releasing an album, a split and this EP. Astiwihad-Zohr was released via NecroShrine Records (with distribution help from Iron Bonehead Productions) on cd format and will soon be released on tape via Godz Ov War Productions shortly and on 12" via IBP.

Dakhma may end up with the dubious title of “rawest” black/death band I’ve ever heard. Opener Libation (Unto the Blessed Flame) contains low growls and gargles, underpinned by noise-laden percussion and guitars. It’s certainly not of the ambient or atmospheric variety. I’m not saying it’s bad though, after all I don’t like to speak bad of bands that sit within genres that I enjoy. This is just a challenging listen at first. The Middle-Eastern samples that adorn the start of Procession (Feed From the Skull) draw you into a song that’s more musical, with doom-like riffs and even some melody in the early bars. They give way to more chaotic black/death, which flies along at quite a pace. Thankfully, Dakhma has one eye on haunting atmosphere as the mid-section of Procession… is eerily quite. It’s a welcome break from the barrage but serves only as a breather, before one last closing attack. Ancient chants greet you on the aptly named Spirit (From the Plane). By now, you can probably ignore what I said initially about Dakhma’s lack of ambience. Initial listens are not conducive to a fair review. This song features real ambience in the form of some subtle yet quality guitar work. I think it really go’s a long to highlighting the musical palette of this (anonymous) musician. The song’s 9 minute-plus length seems to flash by fairly rapidly, as the song is very listenable and well structured. Astiwihad-Zohr finishes with a relatively brief number called Altar (Flesh Upon Me), which sees Dakhma returning to the hellish sound that was found on the EP opener. This is a very expansive EP from a productive band. It’s extreme yes, but it’s not untouchable. It grows on you with each listen and will definitely appeal to those who find solace and comfort in ungodly noise. 

Stream and purchase downloads/cd's directly from Dakhma here:-

Also, buy or pre-order physical copies from the labels below:-

Iron Bonehead Productions -
Godz Ov War Productions -

Dakhma Facebook -
NecroShrine Records Facebook -
Iron Bonehead Productions Facebook -
Godz Ov War Productions Facebook -

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