Finnish psychedelic, blackened doom band Dark Buddha Rising have released a new EP. That EP has two tracks on it and is called II. It was released on the 20th of April via Neurot Recordings.
Formed in 2007, Dark Buddha Rising are a busy band. They have already released 6 full length studio albums and a live album in their 11 year existence. Mostly they came at a rate of 1 a year until 2015’s release called Inversum. where we didn’t get anything else until now with II. Dark Buddha Rising are a 5 piece.
Vocals are handled by M. Neuman, the newest member of the band having joined in 2015. Another relatively new member is keyboardist J. Saarivuori. He joined in 2013. The rest of the band have been around since the beginning. On guitars is V. Ajomo, on drums is J. Rämänen and on bass is P. Rämänen.
While II may sound short for an EP, with just 2 tracks on it, Dark Buddha Rising are well known for long, expansive tracks and II is no different. The EP actually weighs in at around 26 minutes long in total which gives you an idea of what the band do. Both tracks are called Mahathgata. Track 1 is Mahathgata I and track 2 is Mahathgata II.
Mahathgata I is the longer of the two at over 15 minutes in total and expansive seems to small a word really. There loads of ideas on show over both songs. Lashings of creativity on offer and both songs are really different to each other as well. Mahathgata I is by far the most punishing of the two tracks. An oriental styled opening soon gets pushed aside by a storm of ferocity. A heavily distorted riff is both crunching and powerful. It is repetitive and worms its way into your brain, weighing you down. The heavy bass is suffocating and the drums crash like thunder claps. Vocals are often kept in the background and remind me of Ghost Bath with the range of screams and yells.
Mahathgata II is around ten minutes long and is even more varied and creative, taking the psychedelic level up a notch. Oriental sounding choir like vocals, bells, horns, chimes. There is a lot on offer. This second song doesn’t have any obvious guitars. There are no drums and aside from the choir chants, barely any vocals. It kind of sounds like an album intro and while it is immensely intriguing and weighty, I can’t help wondering why they didn’t put these songs round the other way. This song ending and leading into the brutal, crushing force of the first would have been something else.
Still, it is impossible not to be fascinated and excited by what is on show. It is quite unique and really intriguing. Over the two tracks you really get a sense of what Dark Buddha Rising are about. It is heavy, it is huge and it worms it’s way inside your brain to an almost unbearably suffocating level before slowly releasing it’s grip. Clever stuff.
II is available now on all the usual streaming services and also on the band’s Bandcamp page here. You can also grab some merch like tops and patches at the band’s website here. Finally, you can grab more music from Dark Buddha Rising at the links below. Find out more on the band at their website, on Twitter and on Facebook. Be sure to give them a like and a follow while you are there.
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II by Dark Buddha Rising (Neurot Recordings)
The Final Score - 8/10