Watch: This Beijing Metal Band Mixes Burzum with Buddhism

Bliss-Illusion from Beijing riffs on Buddhist scripture in their eclectic post-metal vocabulary

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11:21 PM HKT, Thu March 7, 2019

Today’s exploration of the intersection between local tradition and the international language of metal comes via Si Miao (嗣妙), a video platform launched last year to tell bite-sized stories about Buddhism to a popular audience. If this is your general thing, the channel is worth a closer look overall (Si Miao’s 42nd episode, released earlier this week, is about a hipster calligrapher). If you just want to cut straight to the metal, here’s a member of Beijing band Yu Ji talking about his twin interests in Buddhist cosmology and heavy metal:

Yu Ji — English name: the thoroughly Buddhist Bliss-Illusion — formed in 2015, and is gearing up to put their 2018 debut Shinrabansho on the international market via a release on French label Anesthetize Productions next month. “Post-Black Metal with folk and ritualistic elements,” says the press release, and judging by the track titles the dharma is strong on this one. If I had to choose just one track to recommend, it might be “Naraka” (the Sanskrit word for hell), but you can stream the entire atmospheric, Maya-piercing trip right now on YouTube ahead of the album’s formal April 2 release:

Cover image: “Singing Buddhist Scriptures in Heavy Metal” by Si Miao (QQ Video)

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