Dark Buddha Rising: Dakhmandal

Enigmatic drone-doomsters burrow below the levels of sanity

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If you want to get the full Dark Buddha Rising experience, you really need to see them live, largely due to the petrifying vision of their statuesque, shaven-headed frontman, V Ajomo, looking like some ancient, bloodthirsty priest holding up a freshly ripped heart to the gods.

Which isn’t to say that the Finns’ fifth album is anything less than a monstrous, hallucinatory journey whose 80 minutes, split into six lengthy phases and rites, feel like an eclipse-cast shadow gradually working its way across your frontal lobes. Featuring members of Hexvessel and psych wanderers Mother Susurrus after a particularly restless night, DBR’s brooding, ever-descending pulse recalls Bong’s trippier probes into the lower realms of consciousness, only Dakhmandal has clearly taken a wrong turn into some darkened, slumbering demon-populated recess.

V’s slavering invocations coil at the heart of K’s (all track titles bearing consonants of the album title) bristling, lopping judders and unfurling Eastern-tinged guitars as well as the drone-doom potholing-below-the-Mountain-Of-Madness and actual fucking madness of N. It’s all one long, insidious corruption of consciousness, zeroing in on frequencies the waking mind wasn’t made to withstand.