Dark Buddha Rising
Svart Records)

While this Finnish occult/doom band’s third release Abyssolute Transfinite saw great expectations from me, I do think that Dark Buddha Rising might now be suffering from some sort of odd identity crisis. When I viewed an image of the band, I was shown a dark and ghoulish sort of thing; complete with a frontman who looks like he had somehow gotten lost in Abbath’s attic and walked out with whatever he could find after stumbling around in the dark. This ritualistic black metal image did however make me interested in what the future might hold for the band on this album, but I sadly found myself quite bored and unintentionally zoning out during most of the listening process for this release. Two discs and six long tracks accompany the album which I believe is intended to be listened to as a whole, but I don’t believe than an almost thirteen minute long intro entitled “D” is truly necessary. I completely understand that the point of drone (or dark drone metal) in this case is to create an atmosphere, but I don’t feel that most of this album succeeds in that factor. It might depend on who you are, but the doom riffs and slight vocal noises here and there accompanied by sound effects just wasn’t enough to truly bring me into the atmosphere. I wanted to escape into the world that they were creating, a world where Lovecraftian beings might rise as tall as gods brimming the surface of the heavens; but very few of these pieces allowed me access into that world.

The second disc of the set is much stronger however, with “M” standing as the disc’s strongest construct and I feel that if more work were put into creating the kinds of hypnotic and otherworldly chatterings featured on that piece, then this album might have fared much better. Plus, the prog elements were a nice touch. “N” sees things escaping into total chaos for a couple of minutes, which is refreshing after a great deal of monotony; with the album itself ending on “L” which I can only describe as a believable ritual to dark and unknown gods filled with chanting and all manner of blackened revelry. Additionally, some harsh vocals are to be found in places on the album as well as a clean vocal approach that strangely reminds me a bit of Glen Danzig. While Dakhmandal is not as strong as the band’s last release, it’s still got enough going for it to make it worth a listen. If you’re in the mood for soul-searing symphonies to things that we dare not speak of, then this might be what you’re looking for. Be warned though, that first disc is going to be a little dry. You might want to get a glass of water first. (Eric May)

Purchase Dakhmandal here:  http://www.svartrecords.com/shoppe/5-svart


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