Nov 162020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Finnish dark underlords of psychedelic drone, Dark Buddha Rising, which was released by Svart Records on November 13th.)

You know, despite existing on pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum, Drone and Grind have a weird amount in common… at least, they do from my perspective.

For one thing, both styles are – in my experience – more enjoyable live than on record (with some notable exceptions, of course), and both make a lot more sense to me when they’re mixed in with more… let’s say “traditional”… forms of Metal.

This means that if you want to get me bumpin’ ‘n’ grindin’ then you’d best inject a heavy dose of Death Metal along with it. And if you want me to embrace the Drone you’ll need to bring the Doom too.

On top of that, they both exist in that weird space where, although I understand what people mean when they use these terms, I can’t necessarily define them.

But, to paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, “I know it when I hear it.”

Case in point, Dark Buddha Rising’s seventh album straddles the line between genres so adroitly that I still can’t tell you exactly where it lands.

My head says it’s Drone, but my heart says it’s Doom, and my guts… well, my guts just say that it’s one of the best albums of the year, and yet another career highlight from Finland’s favourite sub-sonic sorcerors. Continue reading »

Oct 182020


Although this column is principally devoted to flavors of black metal, sometimes I branch out and include music that’s outside the genre. Usually that happens when it’s something I don’t want to delay recommending, but it’s also usually music that at least to my ears has a “spiritual” kinship to black metal. And by “spiritual” I don’t mean satanic, but rather a kind of pitch-black mood that makes its placement in the playlist suitable (for want of a better word). I’ve done this today with the first two items.


To begin, I’ve chosen an astonishing video made by Dehn Sora for the song “Sunyaga” by the Finnish dark underlords of psychedelic drone, Dark Buddha Rising. The song is from the band’s forthcoming seventh album, Mathreyata. Continue reading »

Nov 162017

Convocation photo by Kammio Visuals


In August I discovered Convocation, a relatively new Finnish band with an auspicious line-up consisting of L.L., who writes the music and performs all the instruments, and M. Neuman, who handles the lyrics and vocals. L.L. is also the main man behind Desolate Shrine, whose recently released 2017 album Deliverance From the Godless Void (reviewed here) is one of this year’s stand-out records, and Neuman is also the vocalist for the wonderful Dark Buddha Rising.

At the time of that August discovery (but no longer), the Convocation Bandcamp page was populated with unmastered versions of four tracks, all of which had appeared just days before. I was particularly taken with “Ruins of Ourselves“, a staggeringly heavy union of funeral doom and death metal. It was punishingly crushing, with titanic, gloomy chords and gut-punching percussion that together made the earth seem to quiver. Spectral guitar melodies, eerie ambient layers, and Neuman’s own haunting clean tones gave the music a ghostly atmosphere — though most of the time his vocals were terrifyingly craggy. And in addition to being stunningly heavy, the music was mesmerizing.

Just based on that one song, I was quick to write that Convocation would be “a brilliant new entry into the annals of doom/death”.

Now I’m very happy to announce for the first time that Convocation’s debut album, Scars Across, has been mixed and is ready for mastering — and that the Italian label Everlasting Spew Records will be releasing it by the spring of next year. AND we are also premiering a teaser of music from the album, to whet your appetite. Continue reading »