Dark Buddha Rising - Dakhmanda [Svart - 2013]
After three self-financed albums, Dark Buddha Rising is back with a fourth, but this time put out by Finnish label Svart. And, like most doom bands, DBR doesn't know the meaning of restraint. Dakhmandal is released as 3x12" EP and 2xCD. Is there really an hour and twenty minutes worth of quality material here?
Dakhmandal is six tracks with the shortest being just over 11 minutes. This album is a beast, and it doesn't always work to its advantage. All the standard doom accoutrements are here (slow, heavy guitars, plodding drums, backing guitar drones) and they're put forth in a very ordinary manner. A few tracks on this album have additional synth drones and sweeps in the back as well as nicely contained and well used feedback. The six songs play together very well as a whole, but start to falter when examined individually. This is due to each song having a very similar construction. Also, each song is far longer than the material needs and tedium is rampant. With that, there were two songs that diverged enough to catch my attention. "M" begins with a synthy organ drone before some background screams sweep in. Cool riffs join in and then some drums. Later, a theremin-esque synth joins in. After about 10 and a half minutes (haha yup), an honest to goodness jam breaks out! "N" starts like almost all the other songs on the album. There are meaty riffs, slow drums, and a lot of time. However, after seven or so minutes, DBR plays what sounds like an Anal Cunt album. It's pretty rad and unexpected. After, they turn that into a solid rock jam before spending a few minutes slowing it down for an ending.
DBR's fourth album is interesting. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. When it's on and you're just along for the ride, it's exactly what it's supposed to be. Under the microscope, though, and it starts to fall apart. There's definitely a half hour of material that could've been cut from this recordPaul Casey