Abyssolute Transfinite

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Band Name Dark Buddha Rising
Album Name Abyssolute Transfinite
Type Album
Released date 02 February 2011
Music StyleSludge Doom
Members owning this album5


1. Ashtakra I 15:00
2. Ashtakra II 15:46
3. Chonyidt 45 21:53
4. Sol'Yata 19:30
Total playing time 1:12:10

Review @ gletscherwolf

02 October 2011

Loud, dark, drony and utterly psychedlic

Dark Buddha Rising hails from Finland, started out its career in 2007 and since have been rather prolific with a full length and three double albums to its name up to now. Abyssolute Transfinite, which was released earlier this year, is the most recent one of the quartet. There about all the available information about the band stops, because DBR is almost more underground than the underground itself. Although their albums and live performances have gathered them a certain cult following, the band can certainly be called obscure up to the present date. So, clear enough it needs more than a little introduction, even with the scant information there is that is pretty possible as we have the most important raw material for such at hand: Their music.

Dark Buddha Rising is a three piece, known, completely in style with everything else about them, only by their initials V.A. the guitar player taking care of the vocals, and drummer J.R. also managing an assortment of keyboards and electronics. By some, including Spirit of Metal, the music of the band is categorized as Sludge Doom, and there certainly is some to say for that: The whole atmosphere around their compositions being gloomy, doomy and dark, rhythms being slow to very slow and more often than not a sludgy repetition of guitar and bass themes. Others prefer to see it as an exceptionally dark form of stoner doom, which given the haze of psychedelia surrounding the band and the sound, also makes sense.

But, there is much more. The repetitiveness of the themes is so spun out that more than a few drone affecionados are irresistibly drawn to the music. Almost all their tracks are of outspokenly long duration, typically between 15 and 25 minutes, (playing live however songs may be extended to double that length). Even with all the obvious monotony in their sound the stylistic richness not stops here, as also plentiful elements of ambient dark and even neo/industrial folk can be recognized by the expert. Some of their longer intro’s remind remotely of Tangerine Dream’s music from their “haunted house”, early seventies, period. Seems the band couldn’t care less how exactly they are filed and they themselves, in one of their very sparse statements have called it “Dark Arts of Psychedelia”

After having explored what others think about it, now let me have a go at it; For me and not a few of their fans it is space rock. A very heavy variety of it indeed, but still well within the conventions of this style, most of which exponents are only rivaled in their publicity shyness and wish to stay obscure, by the more fundamentalist black metal outfits. But that sure hits fertile ground with me, as I have been collecting stuff like that ever since I was eleven. What however makes DBR stand out from “mainstream” (sic) Space Rock are the very high doses of occultism, darkness and evil in their concept.

As said, the band origins from Finland, to be more precise, the town of Laitila. Most having a not to deep-digging interest in metal, know the country for its predominance in Folk Metal, it is lesser known that the country has a much more versatile rock and metal scene than that only. Although not yet among the superpowers of Space/Psychedelic, quite a number of bands in these styles have sprouted from the country, Circle and Hidria Spacefolk probably being those with the widest reputation. But some true jewels are to be found in the deep underground, I mention Galacticka here but Dark Buddha Rising is certainly a very worthy new, black branch on the tree.

The themes of their composition go well beyond the comprehension of most sane souls, but those interested in it could have a look at the short manifesto which can be found on their website, (and is in fact its only content). You will look in vain for them on facebook, myspace and other social media, as was to be expected from the previous……… and if you want to contact them you will have to do the effort to send them a written letter to a good ‘ol PO box!

Now, you know what there is to be known about the band, on to the release under scrutiny here, “Abyssolute Transfinite”. Compared with its predecessors is again heavier, a trend that has been ongoing since the first release. Underlining their preference for vinyl releases, this one is again a double LP, each of the four sides featuring only one lengthy track. Although certain developments in the general sound can be pointed out, the main trend of the composition builds seamless on the earlier productions. Some more emphasis on guitar and bass dominated parts is clear, but that in no way means that the spacey and dark keyboard elements have been neglected. The rather sparse vocals are, as in most cases, rather far in the background, deeply embedded in the soundscape.


Dark Buddha Rising is just not the outfit to spend too much energy on any artwork other than music and such can be seen from their various logo’s – The band doesn’t really have a fixed logo and every release kind of brings a new one, although on their webpage they use the one that appeared on the frontsleeve of the Entheomorphosis album -. Cover artwork follows the same trend as the two preceding albums; A pitch black background with white, near geometrical, drawing of symbols which will in their parts be familiar to those with an interest in either occultism, runescript or Satanism.

How to produce psychedelic/space rock best has been the subject of many a quarrelsome discussion and here and there even a few fistfights and the ideal formula will probably never emerge. Where the grandmasters of the genre, Hawkwind, and not a few newer outfits have chosen to put great efforts in making it sound smooth, even licked, fundamentalists still pretend that best as little as possible should be altered by technical means. DBR has clearly chosen the middle path for this release. Production is certainly not overdone in any way and quite some feedback and white & side noises have been left unaltered, but quite some intelligent mixing is recognizable. Probably for the feeling of many they have left the vocals too far in the background during the mixing process, but I am dead sure that this is deliberate and not a flaw. For my feeling in many parts the bass has been mixed in to a little too much planet-devastating extent, but, again, this is probably deliberate and sure adds to the sludgy character of the overall sound.

To those not so much at home with labels the involvement of two of those, Post-RBMM (which released two of the previous albums of the band also) and Waste of Space, might sound impressive. The truth however is somewhat more down to earth. As far as information goes, both are “independent labels”. That might be, but whether they are independent from the band is highly doubtful. Given the fact that neither of them have ever released anything except the albums of DBR, I dare to say that both are probably synonymous to the band itself. Whatever.


Abyssolute Transfinite is a double vinyl album, still it features only four tracks, one for each disc side, given the lengthiness of the songs that still results in a rather robust total length of over one hour and twelve minutes. Let’s have a look at the individual ones;

Ashtakra I (15.01): Starts out in its first few minutes as something that sounds a rather familiar Sludge Doom composition, with in my view an overly dominant bass. But don’t get fooled by it, although no real clear changing point can be pointed out, subtle new layers and changes of rhythm which are brought in piecemeal make the song change to something utterly psychedelic at its end. As is typical of so many of the band’s songs, the vocals although loud and raw, stand in the background and seem to have more the function of additional instrumentalization than of vocal proper.

Ashtakra II (15:45): As already suggested in the title, the track has some similarities with the first one, but with much more variation and intermezzo’s. For DBR standard the start is unusually laid back, but that doesn’t last long, as soon you get overwhelmed by tons of heavy metal polluted sludge, which inevitable reminds you of more recent productions of Yob, those other heavy psychedelic sludgers from the USA. A more quiet transitional part a little past half way however leads you into a less dust filled and brighter part of the universe, where the sledgehammer rhythm section enlivens memories of some heavy early seventies space rock.

Chonyidt 45(21.52): Not only the longest on this effort but in my opinion also the masterpiece of this album. After a short “haunted house” style instrumental intro, a whispering voice, unusually clear for the band’s standard, sets in, but in such a way, that the fainthearted soon wish they could have just stayed in the haunted house. More and more the ominously evil whispering voice loses itself in ever increasing volume of mainly guitar overdrive and feedback, however not without melodic hints. Nevertheless: Pure evil. At minute four bass drone of oversized hatchet proportions sets in to clear the stage for the self confident, near arrogant speech of some wannabe master of the universe or super shaman or whatever, which explains to you the true secret and the dark intention of the existence of all. Drone like drone should be according to my taste, slow going, repetitive, but with just enough turns to keep the balance and also the interest of the listener. If low frequency, high volume sounds, mixed with various electronics easily induces headaches with you, I advice you turn the volume low, (or better not buy the album at all as you are lacking the physique for it).

This spacey equilibrium which is not unlike what several of the newer German space rock outfits lay down, but undisputably heavier in this case, continues steadfast on course to the centre of the Kosmos, only to be enlightened by some flesh tearing guitar riffing as spacetime develops. Vocals drowning more and more in the background, applying heavy distorted screaming now, in an effort to avoid total suffocation in the vortex of sound. When minute twenty approaches you sense that this star of sound is approaching the exhaustion of the fuel supply that has powered it so long. Frantic efforts to keep the cosmic dynamo spinning finally lose themselves about two minutes later in silence, leaving all you mortal earthbound souls in wonder what kind of dark and incomprehensible ritual just saw its conclusion.

Sol’yata (19.30): For the better part this song is an ambient dark ritualistic thing, mysterious and threatening, but not really my taste: I like my space raw, undiluted and loud. To much Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze here, (Don’t get me wrong, I like these guys, but then in their own respect, not as an interlude in a devastating space ritual). And what’s more the white noise, which does so well as distortion on their heavier numbers, here is mainly irritating. However the prayer-like and alien vocals do a lot to keep the intergalactic mind traveler at ease. But, surprise, surprise at space grid 11:40 minutes out of nowhere that thermo nuclear bass emerges again and the prayers go over into a loud wailing devotion. Some carefully dosed medium distorted guitar and ever stronger percussion make you admit again that this was indeed why you were listening to this album. Too bad for the Klaus Schulze stuff in the first 11 minutes, but still a worthy way to conclude this great effort.


Dark Buddha Rising is an underground phenomenon, they know it, they want it to be like that and they cultivate this status to the max. This naturally has the consequence that they will never make it to any mainstream fame, not even in the confines of metal. But probably the guys themselves would rather commit suicide than see that ever happen. It’s music for freaks (But that’s a merger, I am a freak), and will remain so. With these limitations set, it is however also clear that in its confined sphere it is new stuff of the highest importance. A must for those affected to loud, slow, bass-dominated space rock, a natural choice for those who are into drone but like it reinforced with extra metal, and a good try for the not too narrow minded lovers of sludge, stoner and doom. I can only say this is an excellent album, better than their three previous ones. 18 out of 20 and looking forward to more from the dark recesses were these guys dwell.

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