Hailing from Tehran, Iran comes the brutal duo Anoushbard with their 2nd record Abandoned Treasure. Formed in 2017, the duo dropped their debut record Mithra in 2020. It received several plays and mentions globally, leading them to release their second record Abandoned Treasure on the 1st of April 2023, a progressive death metal direction with loads of elements that sent this record directly into my 2023 favorites list. Let me tell you more about it.

Anoushbard kickstarted their Abandoned Treasure journey with The Righteous Ardaviraf (Preparation), a mellow tune with Eastern vibes that were smoothly mixed with fluid melodic guitars and wise storytelling vocals, setting up the mood and “preparing” us for what’s next as the title says. The Righteous Ardaviraf (Journey) comes next, opening with some flowing guitar melodies and arpeggios that progress organically into a heavily distorted riff, taking the song’s dynamics to the next level. It has a beautiful progression with a structure that keeps on evolving dynamically with well-written shifts and deeply emotional melodies. Steering into a heavier hard-hitting sound, The Righteous Ardaviraf (Return) comes next with a powerful groove. It’s a brief instrumental with an insanely good drumline and dense riffs with a melodic twist around the end, showing Anoushbard‘s diverse writing in a nutshell. Moving towards the center of the record, Anoushbard unleashed their brutal side in Destructive Spirit (Angra Mainyu). The intense riffs and pounding drums sent me off my seat headbanging, as they kept on pushing forward relentlessly towards a darker sound with crazy shredding solos, all within a solid coherent structure that showed no mercy. Tower of Silence (Dakhma) comes next with a mysterious oud melody intro before turning the full-headbanger mode on. It sounds like a mix of the 1st three tracks’ sound, its predecessor’s brutality, and a MASSIVE GROOVE, all taking the listener on an enjoyable journey with grinding dynamics and dreamy desert-ish tunes. The title track Abandoned Treasure is where Anoushbard‘s epic writing takes shape. It’s a fantastic progressive masterpiece with dark, filled with anticipation melodies that meet open-sounding ones, all together within a seamless, fluid structure that smoothly takes us on a full progression from soft floating sound into deep heaviness. boosting the record’s dynamics to the roof, Anoushbard delivers a thick, nasty dark mix in Blacksmith’s Apron. It sounds like a soundtrack that’d play as demons dig into the depths of hell, with fire and everything around them. It has a raw sound with massive passion and guttural brutality, it shows how solid their writing and their chemistry are, as they produced such a massive banger while keeping their signature loud and clear, and in perfect harmony. Ending the record on a high note comes Mother. Taking the progressive lane, Anoushbard melts a number of diverse influences molding them in a new form, with intense unpredictable twists, beautiful basslines, pounding drumming, and a mix of clean and brutal vocals that they do really well. 

Abandoned Treasure is a solid record that’ll satisfy every metalhead no matter what genre he’s into. Anoushbard managed to find their own formula, I believe that’s one of the best middle eastern influenced metal records I’ve ever listened to, well-written, well-arranged, and perfectly delivered. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Anoushbard, keep on rocking guys. Cheers!