“I will speak of that which (he), the Holiest declared to me as the word that is best for mortals to obey; while he said: “they who for my sake render him obedience, shall all attain unto Welfare and Immortality by the actions of the Good Spirit.” – 45/5 Ushtavaiti Gatha On “Blessings of Amurdad” (Amurdad translating to immortality in Middle Persian), Dakhma abducts listeners to a distant, foreign land and dares to journey to a time long ago, when desert mystics and noble empires still strode proudly through ancient Persia. Thematically, “Blessings of Amurdad” explores the complex relationship between mortality and immortality in Zoroastrianism, based mainly on key passages of the ancient text of the Gathas. In particular, the band manages to provide a compelling narrative detailing perceived jealousies expressed by mortals towards the divine and vice versa. These themes are captured in the compelling cover artwork, painted by the inimitable Babar Moghal, depicting an ancient tower of silence, seemingly forgotten and decaying but nevertheless exuding a sense of foreboding and nobility, hinting at the divine.
Musically, Dakhma manage to expand on the harrowing, sinister atmosphere presented on previous works and infuse it with a strong feel for dynamics and rhythm. On “Blessings of Amurdad”, Dakhma shows a significant development in their ability to craft compelling songs, whilst further improving upon the gripping, middle eastern infused atmosphere that has characterized their sound up to this point. A drastic improvement in production, allowing for impressive clarity where other contemporary extreme metal projects settle for a stale mess of noise, provides these carefully developed songs with the appropriate sonic vehicle to fully absorb the listener and transfer them to the ominous desert landscape displayed on the album’s cover artwork.
Throughout the album, Karapan Darvish’s performance of various acoustic instrumentation provides for an organic contrast to the already lush and diverse sonic texture on display. Despite the new sonic textures explored on “Blessings of Amurdad”, what allows this album to truly elevate from the masses is the band’s diverse, occasionally experimental and deceptively catchy songwriting style, something that has been honed and developed upon greatly in comparison to previous releases. In particular, Ahu Spozgar’s drum and percussion performance showcases an incredible amount of detail, where each hit seems composed to enhance the sonic foundation laid by the guitars. And so, dare imbibe from Dakhma’s sonic chalice of divinity and accept the “Blessings of Amurdad”…
GENRE: Black/Death Metal
01.The Stench of the Wretched (Forsake Him!) [09:03]
02.The Gaze of Ahura (The King) [04:43]
03.Atash Bahram [04:25]
04.The Cry of Filth (Agerept) [06:54]
05.Birth of Flesh (Nama Karana) [05:52]
07.Oath of Purity (Amahraspand) [07:57]
08.The Rite of Dominion (Shehrevar) [08:59]