Unmarked Boxes by DaxmaRelease date: November 19, 2021
Label: Blues Funeral Records / Majestic Mountain Records
From Oakland California, Daxma offers up the sort of music that is responsive to the attention it is given. The long form songs are rapturous in any situation, but it truly bursts to life when attention and dedication are paid. On second album Unmarked Boxes, Daxma continues to deliver expansive doom laden post-metal which has been given time to mature and breathe before it was recorded. The result is a stunning album full of individuality as well as a strong collective feel resulting in a spectacular and unique experience.
Do not be weary of the long tracks, there is no standard post-rock plodding here, each track is varied and doesn’t wait the full length to start drawing a conclusion. ‘The Clouds Parted’ is such a great opener which includes reverbing vocals, plenty of atmosphere, space and crushing drums and although there is a crescendo it continues over the plato to make such an enjoyable ending.
Having scoured the credits I can only assume that some of the sections that actually sound like horns are the work of electric violinist Jessica T. On ‘Hiraeth’ it is reminiscent of the electric cello of Giant Squid and Grayceon’s Jackie Perez Gratz as the song becomes ambushed in its snaking trail by a striking guitar riff before succumbing to the charge. The band has said that it worked on the material for close to a year and this is very evident as each interaction and progression is well thought out and beautifully delivered. No moment feels wasted and the results are stunning.
Having been a post-rock devotee for fifteen years it’s always amazing to find something that meets some of the genre definitions but offers a truly refreshing release. Daxma is far more reminiscent of Sub Rosa mixing with Year of No Light, but in a post-rock landscape and it’s a superb combination. There is darkness, heaviness yet a lightness that allows the music to float with a great presence. This release is well worth the effort of giving attention, take time out, turn out the lights and let Daxma lead the trip.