Dark Buddha Rising - Dakhmandal
7 June 2013

01. D
02. K
03. H
04. M
05. N
06. L

Confession time: I used to be unable to tolerate drone doom. For the longest time, I saw its musical formula as very unnecessarily bland, monotonous, and repetitive. But somehow, towards the end of last year, it all started to click with me. I began to see and appreciate the formulas of bands like Sunn O))), Om, and Nadja for what they were, even actively searching out more drone bands to listen to on my own time. And in that search, unquestionably one of the best bands I've come across is Finnish Dark Buddha Rising. The trio's unrelenting wall of sound has thus far crafted a hypnotic cloak of wonder over their entire discography, and Dakhmandal, their 2013 output, is certainly no exception.

With bands like Dark Buddha Rising, that have a relatively simplistic approach to their songwriting, it's not that difficult to take a minor alteration in the music and turn it into a huge evolution of the overall sound, and this is exactly what happens with Dakhmandal. This time around the band seem to have focused a lot more on melody and vocals with their musical formula. The vocals, when they do appear, are cleverly placed around the peaks in the music, especially towards the ends of "K" and "N," almost as though they help the songs build up to their climaxes, and this is a new technique that really makes the music feel a lot more "complete," so to speak. In addition, the vocals usually come across as having quite a choir-like effect, which goes along excellently with the band's whole Buddhist/meditation themes.

Other than that, the fifth installation in the Dark Buddha Rising saga isn't really much different from the band's previous efforts: the repetitive guitar and bass-lines chug along at their slow, crawling paces, gradually building up to groovy, almost jam-like atmospheres the longer they extend into their duration. And, as usual, the eerie ambient effects of the keyboards help to add a whole, separate dimension to the band's music (opener "D," and the beginning of "M," particularly), giving them a strong sense of distinction that easily separates them from your average drone band.

With Dakhmandal, as you listen it somewhat feels like Dark Buddha Rising have some kind of secret hidden behind the multiple layers of groove and ambience that they craft. Some type of deeper, higher meaning that only further escapes your grasp the harder you try to understand it, an elaborate mind game of sorts. But, of course, that's just part of what adds to the allure of the music. There's truly something to be said of this whole "less is more" direction of the drone bands: the repetition of basic musical rhythms and patterns can conjure a sort of mesmerizing trance, almost like some kind of ancient shamanic ritual, and Dark Buddha Rising hit the nail of this concept right on the head with their latest release. Have you ever wondered what Dopesmoker would've sounded like as a dark ambient album? Well, wonder no more, my metal brethren, because Dakhmandal just might be your answer.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Band profile: Dark Buddha Rising
Album: Dakhmandal


Written on 04.06.2013 by
Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.
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Chobo_jokeR - 05.06.2013 at 01:57  
I ended up listening to some of their music after Oranssi Pazuzu recommended them in an interview I was reading. If those guys were digging it, I figured I should give it a listen. I enjoy Dark Buddha Rising, but I wouldn't go running around the world telling everyone about them (unlike Oranssi Pazuzu haha)

Good review man, definitely describes their sound, and from the sounds of it I'll enjoy it.
Apothecary - 05.06.2013 at 02:14  
Written by Chobo_jokeR on 05.06.2013 at 01:57

I ended up listening to some of their music after Oranssi Pazuzu recommended them in an interview

Yeah, I had known of them before that, but that interview was how I found out that Dakhmandal was even set to come out this year at all.
Chobo_jokeR - 05.06.2013 at 02:17  
Written by Apothecary on 05.06.2013 at 02:14

Yeah, I had known of them before that, but that interview was how I found out that Dakhmandal was even set to come out this year at all.

Ahhh I gotcha. Oranssi even linked a song from Dakmandal on their facebook page, so they must respect the guys quite a bit.
tea[m]ster - 09.06.2013 at 17:19  
I just listened to this. Pretty much what I expected but I am not sure I dig it. I am not a huge fan of this type of music. You described the music perfectly and as someone not very familiar with drone music anybody can tell from this review whether or not to try it or skip it all together. Well done.

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