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Dark Buddha Rising - Mathreyata [Svart - 2020]

Five long years since their last full length, gloom and doom legends Dark Buddha Rising return with their seventh mighty slab, Mathreyata. Four thick and meaty slices of heavy duty grimness, their latest is true to form for the Finnish quintet, offering up beefy, doomy drones. Sludgy and atmospheric, Mathreyata continues on Dark Buddha Rising's quest for spreading their heavy message to the world and beyond.

Opening with a dark, cavernous drone, Dark Buddha Rising deftly puts forth the landscape as they stand on the edge of the abyss. "Sunyaga" is deliberately heavy and plodding, and its extended run time helps to reinforce this glacial beast. Heavy and droning, vocals cut through and elevate the dirge into full ritual. Masterfully layered, each playthrough unveils more and more subtleties to the sound tucked into the musical fabric. Slowly oscillating effects and synths pop in and out of the mix and add an otherworldly element to this heavy, chthonic rite. Ending on a fevered pitch, the urgency is felt and the prior restraint fully realized as the fires and flames erupt and consume. Transitioning into a slow, somewhat groove laden bit of fatness, "Nagathma" brings the head nodding heaviness to the fore and another aspect of Dark Buddha Rising's vision takes shape. Like staring into the blank darkness and letting one's mind make shapes out of nothing, Mathreyata hints at a lot of other thoughts and sounds outside of those presented. It is clear why "abyss" is used in this album's promotional materials, as Dark Buddha Rising have given the listener a gaze into the abyss that not even Nietzsche could have imagined. "Uni" breaks format and almost disassembles itself before regaining its feet and ambling forth. Like a summoned creature not used to this world, finding one's ground and locomotion against an alien gravity is slowly learned and delightfully cacophonous. Closing out with a bang, "Mahatgata III" combines all the forces laid before it like a doomy Voltron and brings Mathreyata up even more levels. Dark and chthonic, but also high and otherworldly, this massive number is a grim force that captures the soul of Dark Buddha Rising and blasts it for the entire world to hear. Deliberately percussive in punctuation, the closing track is the pure essence of Mathreyata, and a wonderful sum of its parts.

Constantly impressive, Dark Buddha Rising's latest almost sounds like the sonic pact they signed with the devil for their abilities. Covering all auditory aspects of a vile ritual, Mathreyata is a perfect album to see 2020 out the door. Showing that there is light in the gloom and happiness in doom, Dark Buddha Rising will bring a smile to many metalheads' faces with their latest, and the world eagerly anticipates their next offering.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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