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Daxma: Unmarked Boxes

Post rock/metal band Daxma hail from Oakland, California and formed in 2014. Their first album is titled Journey From Birth to Death which I haven’t heard yet and is followed by their latest 2021 release Unmarked Boxes.

The new album is inspired by as well as named after a poem by Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet. The main idea behind the poem can be found in the opening lines, “Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” I will leave it to you to read the poem yourself to add more depth to the album’s meaning and intent. As far as the music is concerned the band is all about slow and deliberate builds utilizing keyboards and guitar as mainly textural elements. It’s all very moody and dark, with soft and heavier sections giving a high sense drama.

On the album opening “The Clouds Parted” a deeply resonating keyboard sets the mood before the guitar riffs crash with intensity and are loaded with fuzz. The use of reverb adds to the heaviness as the guitar slowly burns through the soundscape. The wordless background voicings act as another instrument, greatly affecting the dark laden mood. More moodiness can be heard on “And The Earth Swallowed Our Shadows” where the heavy guitar riffs are in contrast to the mellower keyboard sounds. The thirteen plus minute “Hiraeth” takes its time to build as layers of orchestration and guitar slowly evolve and add the necessary texture to give the tune extra depth. While listening to these tracks its easy to picture some dystopian landscape, dark and barren with a pervading sense of melancholy. In contrast, “Saudade” has a somewhat lighter touch, mostly due to the effective use of acoustic guitar. The dramatic, almost orchestral builds in “Anything You Lose”, combined with sweet arpeggiated guitar and slashing riffs and the heavy and calming “Comes Back In Another Form”, end the album in fine fashion.

Anyone who as the slightest interest in post rock needs to listen to Unmarked Boxes as the band has crafted a subtle and heavily textured affair with deep meaning and conviction. Highly recommended.

A Blues Funeral Recordings release.

Track Listing:
1. The Clouds Parted (13:24)
2. And The Earth Swallowed Our Shadows (4:43)
3. Hiraeth (13:28)
4. Saudade (4:42)
5. Anything You Lose (11:20)
6. Comes Back In Another Form (9:42)

Added: June 13th 2022
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 185
Language: english

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