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It’s a fact that one of the most rising trends in extreme sound in recent years is the mix of black metal with crust. Musically speaking, for a fan of both genres like me, this means a whole new set of possibe ways to enjoy the things you love listening to. The problem is that, as with most similar crossover cases, dozens of bands spring up literally every week, many of which do the exact same thing in a tiresome degree. Here is where acts that blend their influences in an interesting way and produce something that not only isn’t boring but also advances this creative union even further, shine. In other words, acts like Dakhma.

Those who keep track of the aforementioned trend, would remember the self-titled demo of the demolishing trio from Michigan, USA and the pleasant chill down their spine while they had their bones crushed from that crusty grind diamond. Amid the torrent of releases in 2016, the band released “Suna Kulto” which had then, regrettably, escaped my attention. But the infallible antennas of the fine gentlemen behind Halo of Flies records picked it up and the label reissued it on vinyl about a month ago.

The album consists of two epic, 20-minute long pieces, each of them being a stand-alone, complete composition. “East” begins with an intro about two minutes long where the quiet guitar lines play the role of the calm before the storm and the drums give warnings of thunder. And chaos followed. Merciless blastbeat, riffs that dally between classic bm tremolo and neo-crust epic atmosphere, while Claire’s screams damage the speaker cones beyond repair. In the middle of the track, the storm subsides for a moment, only to return with double the force until the outro, where the brooding excerpt from John’s book of revelation followed by distorted guitars and double-bass drumming complete the havoc. “coins” starts laced with sorrow, creating an environment of urban depression (in the vein of Lantlos) and while it maintains the momentum picked up from “East”, it initially walks down a more post-black path, enriching its composition both in the drum patterns and the riffs. The song has more low speed points than the first one, which accommondate the stylistic transition from post-black to pure crust and from there to the black metal rhythms we are used to expect from the other side of the Atlantic.

Overall Dakhma offer us a great album, covering the whole spectrum of modern black metal, from post-black to atmospheric and from there to dsbm, wrapping it with the apocalyptic atmosphere that makes neo-crust stand out from the punk music family. A well executed album with lots of inspiration, that rises above most of the genre’s releases in 2016. Furthermore, its reissue sets a very high bar for the current year. In black we crust like we never did before. Get this album asap. (9)