Roadburn 2012. I made my plan for each festival day to catch my favourite bands, yet such plans always go to hell as soon as the day starts. Somehow, I managed to end up at a show of Dark Buddha Rising, an unknown band to me. What I experienced was breathtaking and more of a demonic ritual than an actual show, ending up as one of the most memorable gigs I’ve ever seen. Since then, I have been following the band’s creative outputs culminating in 2015’s “Inversum” album. Now, three years later, Dark Buddha Rising is finally back with “II”, an EP that symbolizes the full circle that the Finnish band has made since “I” in 2007, opening a gateway into new creative directions.

Going back to “II”, the EP consists of two songs, called “Mahathgata I” and “Mahathgata II”, good for 25 minutes of heavy, psychedelic metal. If you’re already a fan of Dark Buddha Rising, you can blindly invest into this EP, because it has all the familiar trademarks of the band, it sounds super heavy and especially “Mahathgata I” is among the band’s best work so far. Both songs build up excellently and have a dynamic range from shamanistic ritual chants to heavy doom riffs, sounding coherent, powerful and dark. If you’re not familiar with Dark Buddha Rising yet, “II” will suck you into a psychedelic vortex that only leaves a longer playing time to be desired. Yet another impressive release from an impressive band. It will be interesting to see which journey Dark Buddha Rising will be taking in the future.

(8.5/10 Lykle Thijssen)