Following on from 2017’s The Head Which Becomes the Skull, by way of the 2019 EP Ruins upon Ruins, Unmarked Boxes is a record I’ve been waiting for. Daxma deal in luscious doom and post-metal soundscapes that are absolutely awash with atmosphere and run deep with emotive content.
The music is intricately constructed from quality components. Built around structures that emphasise atmospheric depth and rich textures, the songs are beautiful and sublime, while also reminding the listener that everything ends and everything fades away to dust. The music is bleak and mournful, with so many different shades of sorrow and loss expressed that it’s almost as if Daxma have invented an entirely new lexicon for portraying darkness and grief.
The musicians use their instruments to craft a range of moods and feelings, from the delicate and fragile to the crushingly heavy. Additional instruments, such as piano and violin, are thoughtfully woven into the fabric of the music, enriching it immensely. Vocally the band make use of both male and female clean singing. Largely used as just another layer in the music, these cleans are frequently ethereal and enhance songs that could easily get away with being fully instrumental. As it is, the vocals simply add extra value when they appear, without becoming the focal points that most vocals usually are.
Daxma have not disappointed with their second album. Unmarked Boxes is a 57-minute journey into the heart of darkness, but one that carries sparks of hope. This is achieved via multifaceted and rich music that’s affecting and powerful enough to make you realise that you just might be able to triumph against adversity in the end, after all.