Mach Dharma’s debut album Safe Space is out now.
Who: Gill Alexandre, Andres Castro, Khaled Dajani and Karim Douaidy.
What: Alternative rock/metal dashed with prog.
Where: New York.
Why: If you always wanted your alternative rock/metal to be a bit more proggy then we may have the band for you. They are a four piece out of New York called Mach Dharma and they are the cat’s pyjamas. Their debut album, titled Safe Space and released in 2018, is an album of melody, ferocity and diverse ambition. Perhaps this diversity stems from the group’s origins, as members have roots in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. Quite the melting pot.
For us, the highlight of the record is undoubtedly the fearless ‘Crimes of the Times’. A track that somehow combines the vehement and uncompromising lyricism of Maynard James Keenan with the off kilter riffing of Soundgarden and the proggy leanings of Porcupine Tree, it pummels and grinds without losing focus or direction.
Later in the album, the anti-religion anthem ‘700’ shines bright. It doesn’t pull any punches: “Hey, let’s bow our heads and pray / Oh lord, we gotta keep the faith / Only for a dollar you can drink the water / Only for a dollar you can drink the water”. Also, it seamlessly introduces some wonderful Middle Eastern passages and melodies that build patiently to a sonic exodus.
Keep an ear open for what Mach Dharma get up to next. We know we will be.
Support/listen to Mach Dharma on Bandcamp.