Born out of the ashes of Seda E Marg, "Frashogard" is the first release for Coup d'Etat Communications and marks the end of a two-year silence from the renamed Sedaye Marg, previously on the Mechanoise label.
"Frashogard" [or 'renewal'] begins as it means to go on. "Lion and Sun" is a dark, intense, filmistic joy to behold with grinding, clawing samples, echoing horns and rhythmic layered percussion. "Cinema Rex is Burning" is a more up-tempo affair, reminiscent of earlier industrial forays with reverberating, oscillating percussion and an all-consuming backdrop of dense rhythmic noise. "The Guard of the Immortals" is a more reserved track yet still heavy and reverberating. I'm afraid I didn't like the keyboards in this track, very simplistic and seem to belittle the rest of the track. "As Ctesiphon Fell Again" is a fantastic piece: throbbing harsh electronics with an intense backdrop of clattering noise throughout, getting more chaotic towards the close. "Summer of 1953" provides a dark, swirling, ambient respite with Persian themes becoming more evident. Then on to "Betrayal of an Architect" - another fine aural assault, this time more militant in nature with sharper rhythms. "Governed by Fear" mixes heavenly echoing female voices over an ambient soundtrack with mechanical punctuations. "Operation Karbala Five" has distinct eastern traditional voices accompanied by hard electronic clashes. "Exile" is a sensory exercise with some piercing samples and melting, evolving rhythms and quiet moments. "Every Day is Ashura" starts off quietly then builds with fluctuating distortions and prominent eastern percussion. "Red Tulips Will Blood from our Blood" is very similar to "Every Day is Ashura", if a little darker and noisier. "Esfehan Steel" is similar to "Cinema Rex is Burning" but more metallic in constitution. "Pahlavan" is a heavy repetitive piece with little abandonment, which drops straight into "Frashogard", the last filmistic moments of the CD with distorted, echoing vocals and strings.
Some of this is difficult listening; but with each intense, reverberating adaptation, it proves to be a very strong release. Would definitely appeal to fans of Muslimgauze, Inade or Sophia. Surely one of the finest releases of 2003.