(Behemoth Productions) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 From the genious of Akhyta Nachttoter (Michael Ford), comes a superb aural experience. "Az-I-Dahak", named after a concept in Persian sorcery and black magic, is 9 tracks of very unique black metal. It goes beyond the sphere of average black metal, with its ambient feel and hypnotizing rhythms. Michael Ford has spent much time in ambient-industrial projects, and their influence here is unmistakeable, adding a great deal of character. His vocals are haunting and raspy, but not too high-ended. Also featured are the vocals of Lux Ferro and Dana Dark.
Michael Ford has done all the composition, arrangements, and programming on this release. It's not surprising that all of this is the product of one person, when the concepts and vision here are presented with such clarity and focus. The songs have a moderate tempo throughout, but they are by no means less ominious as a result.
The lyrics form a sort of concept album, a concept which is expressed brilliantly throughout the music. The rhythimic pulse and accents, along with the familiar use of returning to the song's tonic by half-step resolution, are standard for metal. Beyond this, the music goes into ambient and hymn-like realms. For example, the song Astovihad (Devourer) features a brilliant riff that sounds like it comes from a hypothetical, esoteric music style, that does not sound like it came from this earth. "Az-I-Dahak" is a chilling and thought-provoking journey to places few dare to tread. At the time of this writing, Black Funeral has a new release in the works. Go get this, AND the new one when it comes out. If its anything like this, it would be another worthy part of one's collection.