Indian sludge quintet Dirge have their eyes set firmly in the past for inspiration, looking to the history of the Mayans and their rich mythology. According to the band, they find their musical sensibilities from New Orleans sludge, seminal post-metal/sludge acts like Neurosis and modern trailblazers like Pallbearer. What came together is Ah Puch, their new album, which combines the beliefs of the Mayans with their musical influences for a melodic-but-heavy release.
The new song “La Malinche” moves at a funeral doom-like pace, dragging itself along on crawling riffs and the reverberating, howling vocals from singer Tabish Khidir. In addition to their sludgy influences, Dirge draw from more upbeat death/doom, offering brief respites from the lethargic pace of the song. It’s a welcome element that ultimately strengthens the song, which clocks in at over nine minutes.
“The song explores the mindset of La Malinche, a woman who played a key role in orchestrating the genocide of the Aztec civilisation,” Dirge explain of the song’s lyrical concept. “The evil in her psyche is imagined as a physical manifestation of the ancient Mayan goddess of suicide, Ixtab.”