There was once one Lykhaeon Black Metal band from Switzerland, consisting of two members, but one of them, Kerberos, has one day decided he will create a one-man band. He gave him Dakhma name. This band was formed in 2014 and a year later he recorded not only "Passageways To Daena (The Concomitant Blessings of Putrescing Impurity)" debut, which was released on his own, respectively it was released in digital format, but he recorded immediately the other two records. At first it was split with Ungfell where both bands have offered one track, then again "Astiwihad - Zohr" EP. It contains of four tracks in the length of almost 30 minutes and this EP was released by Iron Bonehead Productions. The band plays a particular style of Death / Black with admixture of atonality and the typical sound of one-man bands. All this led to the fact that we contacted the band to find more information. Moreover, current Switzerland scene is completely unknown to me, so I hope you will like production of this man. Questions were answered by Kerberos.
Hell-o Kerberos. Dakhma is fairly new band. First it would be great to introduce your band and why or how, is it only a project or a regular band...
Dakhma was formed in late 2014, espousing the worship of all Daeva so that they may corrupt and soil the soul of man. Initially conceived as a project, currently I consider Dakhma to be a band with myself as the sole constant member.
The entire band consists of only yourself. Why did you decide to make this step? Aren't you thinking eventually about involving other musicians? If I hear well, you have probably used a drum machine, what a pity the drums are not recorded by real drummer...
With Dakhma it was important for me to exercise absolute control over the entire creative and spiritual process. This allows me to create what I would consider a very pure form of music, free from any compromise and thus a more accurate reflection of what Dakhma is, the ritual invocation of death.
Indeed, I programmed the drums on previous releases as this allowed for percussion that cannot be performed by a drummer and I thought the inhuman nature of the percussion would lend itself well to the music performed. However, the drums for the next Dakhma release will be performed entirely by H.A.T.T. of Tardigrada and Solitudo Solemnis, who's bestial drumming style will be rather enriching to the devastation that will be unleashed on the next album...
Interestingly, a year later as you formed the band, you have released three recordings, first „Passageways To Daena (The Concomitant Blessing of Putrescing Impurity)“ debut, split with Ungfell where you have recorded 20 minute long Ascension IV (Angra Mainyu) track and finally "Astiwihad - Zohr" EP. Obviously you had a surplus of creativity. Is it easy for you to compose so quickly?
Music for Dakhma is usually created over a very short period of time, as the process is rather intense and based on deep inspiration. Consequently, the composition goes rather quickly for this project, as the music flows directly from my mind, resulting in a rather intense but brief time period for each composition to be completed.
If I hear your music well, somehow you are passing into field of atonality, many of your riffs are almost disharmonic, perverse, lined up in a row by another key than conventional Metal bands do. Why did you decide to compose in this way? Do you think almost everything have already been invented in classical harmonic scales, or you just want to try different variety of music?
I did not really decide to compose in any specific way, I believe it to be a much more organic process. I compose directly from what I hear within me and based upon what I believe would be fitting for the invocation in question. The music of Dakhma is conceived to be a spiritual experience in addition to merely an audial one. Experiments with atonality or what is perceived as atonal for a musically "western" ear can be found throughout music and history. In my opinion, it really depends on the perspective of the listener, but I would say that most music nowadays does not stray too far from what is "pleasant" to the common listener. Of course, there are exceptions to this that can be found in each musical genre, but as a rule, the masses do not want to be challenged.
Where do you draw inspiration for writing these songs? In my view a very small percentage of Heavy Metal bands work with atonality. Most composers of this specific music is earlier in classical atonal music led by Arnold Schoenberg. Do you think in these territories will be possibility to explore new ways of composing?
I find that many bands today that experiment with somewhat unconventional sounds in their music are just hopping on the Deathspell Omega-dissonance bandwagon and trying to reproduce something that they themselves may not really fully believe in or be invested in. My inspiration comes mainly from within; these are the sounds I evoke as a reflection of what I consider to be tributes to Daeva. Unlike the compositions of Schoenberg that you mentioned, however, which are rigorously structured and follow a strict procedure under dodecaphony/twelve-tone technique that somewhat limits the ability of the composer to create freely, I believe that for the music of Dakhma, it is necessary to not be bound by any conventions or rules, at least from a musical theory perspective. In my opinion, new possibilities in composition will continue to be explored in the future, I think we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible in musical creation.
What were responses to your present material? Do you think people have enough understanding for such a mad music? Personally, I think most people, even metalheads, are more accustomed to a harmonic music offering a clearly defined melody...
I don't believe that people need to have a special understanding to appreciate the music of Dakhma. I do think, however, that having a deeper understanding of the spiritual background that inspires the music will greatly enrich the listening experience. I would never force anyone to delve that deep though, as it can be a somewhat unpleasant thing. The responses I have received have been generally positive, which I find somewhat surprising given the nature of the music. However, I create this music primarily for myself and not to please others, and will continue to do so indefinitely.
Is music under the name of Dakhma some kind of catharsis you can not apply for example. in Lykhaeon or Solitudo Solemnis?
The music of Dakhma is very different from that of Lykhaeon or Solitudo Solemnis, steeped in Zoroastrian tradition and mysticism which serve as a great inspiration. It would not be appropriate to mix these aspects in other projects I am involved with. As a result, it was necessary for me to separate this project from a creative standpoint. The music of Lykhaeon, for instance, is created in a cooperative manner, where members may contribute freely. In Solitudo Solemnis my contributions are mainly restricted to playing guitar as opposed to being involved in the creative/compositional process, but this is also due to certain time constraints at the moment on my part.
Dakhma deals Zoroastrian rituals and the like. Why Zoroastrianism? If I am correct, this is one of the oldest religions based on the duality of good and evil. Could you write something more about? Are you also interested in Sumerian mythology and religion that could affect Zoroatsrizmus?
Indeed you are correct, it is the oldest monotheistic religion based on an eternal duality. With Dakhma, I try to explore various aspects of Zoroastrian spiritualism and culture, specifically from ancient Persia. The next album will draw even more directly from said influences, but I will not divulge any more specifics at this time. In general, I am very interested in archaic cultures and their mythologies, although I would not say that they necessarily influence or affect the way I deal with Zoroastrianism in Dakhma.
According to my information the album and split came only in digital format, but recent "Astiwihad - Zohr" EP is already covered under the Iron Bonehead Productions. How did you get to this label? Have you contacted them or they get noticed Dakhma first? Will the cooperation between you continue in the future as well? Is there any chance debut will be released on the official format?
Actually, the debut and split were originally released as limited CD-Rs in addition to digital formats, but these have all been sold out for a while. At the time I was looking for a label to cooperate with for the release of "Astiwihad-Zohr", and I thought immediately that Iron Bonehead Productions would be a fitting label for this music and got in touch with them. They kindly agreed to release the EP, for which I am very grateful, as the cooperation has gone very smoothly. I can see future releases being released through Iron Bonehead Productions too, provided there is interest on their part as well.
The debut is scheduled to be re-released via Godz ov War Productions, who showed interest in releasing a limited CD with new artwork and 2 bonus tracks that were not on the original release. The artwork is still in progress, however, more information will be available on this soon through Godz ov War Productions.
What is your view on current Swiss Metal scene? Of course once it belonged mainly to iconic Hellhammer / Celtic Frost and other high-quality bands. What about today's bands? Which bands would you recommend to fans?
To be perfectly honest I am not all that familiar with many new bands in the Swiss metal scene, as my predominant interest in Swiss bands is restricted to Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, as you mentioned, as well as the seminal Coroner. There are numerous black metal bands I do appreciate though, but I'd rather not make a big list for people to check out. Those who are interested can easily find talented Swiss bands themselves, as most of them have some sort of internet presence. I would, however, single out Ungfell as an interesting project definitely worth checking out. Pure Walpurgis Black Metal!
What are the plans under Dakhma for the future? At your quick way of composing I'd see this year at least the next album. How do you actually can handle to operate in two bands and in addition to release so much recordings of your own band? Obviously live performances of Dakhma are not in plan...
Honestly I don't actually find the projects I'm currently in to be very time consuming, as the people are very reliable and focused. For Dakhma I have completed the compositions for the first half of the upcoming full-length, with the second half likely to be completed within the next months whenever I have enough time, as I am currently rather busy with non-music related activities that prevent me from being able to dedicate myself fully to composing. Ideally, I should be able to record the next album this summer with H.A.T.T., but this may be subject to change. Currently, my priority is the completion of the next Lykhaeon album and possible live performances with that band, for which we are rehearsing furiously.
Regarding live performances, although I was initially opposed to transforming Dakhma into a live-capable band, I have recently come around to this idea as I think it would give the music a new dimension to eviscerate and corrupt mankind. I have thus pretty much managed to assemble a live line up, but rehearsals won't be happening in the near future due to busy schedules. It is, however, in the works.
Ok, that would be all from me. If I forgot something, you have the space. Thank you for answering my questions and wish Dakhma lots of ideas and inspiration for writing dark music!
Thank you for your interest in Dakhma and your detailed questions.
Kerberos 29.2.2016 Mortuary
Passageways to Daena