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Daxma – Unmarked Boxes Award winner

Unmarked Boxes
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 24 October 2021, 9:34 AM

Four-piece Post Metal band DAXMA (pronounced DOCK-ma, the term for a Zoroastrian funerary temple) talk about their newest album here, titled “Unmarked Boxes:” “is named after and directly inspired by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi's poem, the opening lines of  which, ‘Don’t grieve, anything you lose comes back in another form’ comprise the song titles of the latter half of the album. While our previous releases were thematically connected to various philosophical and anti-capitalist political traditions, “Unmarked Boxes” explores difficult personal topics such as grief, depression, longing, and the process of overcoming. As a band, we have been working on this material for some time, only recently feeling like we've undergone the musical and spiritual growth necessary to achieve our vision and put this album out into the world." The album contains six tracks.

“The Clouds Parted” leads off the album. This 13-minute beast is marked by alternating passages of clean guitars and vocals, with harsher, heavier passages. The sounds reminds me of the band CLOUDS without the harsh vocals. Extended instrumental passages also mark the song, as the band leaves no stone unturned. “And the Earth Swallowed our Shadows” is a five-minute instrumental of slow, clean guitars with some background ambiance. The landscape it paints is forever grey, and you think to yourself, “will I ever escape this prison?” The somber piano notes are perhaps the best part of the song.

“Hiraeth” is the second lengthy track, opening with slow, clean guitars. Vocals are dreamy at first, juxtaposed against the heavy doom instrumentation. The sax notes (?) are almost soothing at times. Each step forward gets harder and harder to take, and your feet feel like lead balloons. “Suadade” is another shorter instrumental. It begins with slow, acoustic guitars and some pleasing background ambiance. The sounds in the background gradually grow more solemn. “Anything you Lose” marks a turning point in the album, as mentioned above. The song urges you to consider your grief a passing point in the scale of your life…not something that will define you, but rather something that you can control. It steadily grows darker, with heavy, weighted guitar notes, and anguished suffering in the background. Don’t give in…

“Come Back in Another Form” begins with solemn notes and a feeling that something will soon overtake you. Fight against it with everything you have. It grows throughout the song, ending on a question as to whether or not you won the fight. This was the perfect album for a mid-fall day in the Northeast USA…cold and rainy, and with no sunlight in sight. The album takes you on a journey through your darkest emotions, but that fight that is inherent in the human spirit also hangs on by shoestrings. You can’t keep an honest man down for long, and if I am being honest with myself, I have to face my fears head on to overcome them. Running is no longer an option. Give in, and let whatever will pass, pass.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Clouds Parted
2. And the Earth Swallowed our Shadows
3. Hiraeth
4. Saudade
5. Anything You Lose
6. Comes Back in Another Form
Isaac R. – Guitars, Vocals, Bass
Jessica T. – Violin, Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Forrest H. – Guitar, Bass
Thomas I. – Drums
Record Label: Blues Funeral Recordings


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