Ah Puch

1. Invoking the Demigod
2. Montezuma’s Revenge
3. Swamp of Blood
4. The Dilemma
5. La Malinche
6. Corpse of Cortez

Ashish Dharkar - Guitars
Varun Patil - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Harshad Bhagwat - Bass, Backing Vocals
Tabish Khidir - Vocals
Vineet Nair - Drums



All music composed by Ashish Dharkar & Varun Patil
Additional programming by Ashish Dharkar on Tracks 1,4 & 5
Lyrics & concept by Harshad Bhagwat
Produced by Dirge & Apurv Agrawal
All songs recorded by Apurv Agrawal at DBF Funhauz, Mumbai
Acoustic guitars recorded by Varun Patil at Studio Providence
Mixed by Sanford Parker at Hypercube Studios, Chicago, Illinois
Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, Oregon, Portland
Artwork, logo by Gaurav Basu
Photographs by Benjamin Thomas

Released 2018-10-19
Reviewed 2019-01-20


Long ago in the Hallowed history I wrote about a band called Dirge, they were French and they were terrible, like torture. Now I have received another release by a band named Dirge, this time it is an Indian band. They have made this debut album called Ah Puch and released it independently. It is a conceptual album based on Mayan and Aztec mythology combined with historical events like when Cortez brought trouble to South America, kind of weird that an Indian band looks to that kind of mythology when they have plenty of their own and it is probably just as fascinating. Not that I think the Mayan or Aztec choice is bad, they are both very interesting from many perspective so one cannot really complain about the concept. The title is from the Mayan god of death by the way and the story revolves a bit around that I think – I haven’t really paid much attention to the story.

The music is sludge, or doom metal, could be described as either. The songs are slow, rather heavy, they are also long and with raspy and slow growls and long periods of only instrumental stuff, kind of like the genre in general. I can’t really say that they offer anything really new or fresh in that regard and the while I am on the less that great subject; the vocalist isn’t that brilliant either. The variation is quite decent though and they almost manages to keep me listen for the entire playing time that is about 56 minutes, I think that is too long for this album. I can also add that I think the production is pretty good, nothing outstanding but it brings out this slow, heavy and atmospheric sound of the album quite well.

Pretty good album I think, the songs works quite well and the sound is good. Sure they could use better vocals, the album could be shorter and most of all it could be shorter and more original. But fans of the sludge/doom metal genre will most likely find this appealing as it has good atmospheres and can be described as a strong debut. So it is good I think. Not great though, and a bit difficult to write about as it doesn’t really stand out from the masses, that is probably the biggest weakness of the album, it will not be noticed as it doesn’t stand out. They make a solid effort but it isn’t a very exciting one, lets describe it as that.

Ah Puch is a good debut, a pretty good album and has been relatively enjoyable to play through, but it isn’t the best one that I have heard and if you aren’t really a big fans of the sludge/doom genre then I think there are better choices out there. So if you like the doom kind of stuff I think it could be an album worth checking out.






Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Neurosis/Sleep/Acid Bath

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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