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Dodecahedron - "Dodecahedron" (CD)

Dodecahedron - "Dodecahedron" CD cover image

"Dodecahedron" track listing:

1. Allfather (6:27)
2. I, Chronocrator (7:38)
3. Vanitas (11:05)
4. Descending Jacob's Ladder (5:12)
5. View from Hverfell I: Head above the Heavens (4:24)
6. View from Hverfell II: Inside Omnipotent Chaos (8:21)
7. View from Hverfell III: A Traveller of the Seed of the Earth (10:38)

Reviewed by on January 5, 2012

"'Dodecahedron' creates the sort of feeling that one can’t help but imagine was experienced by the first terrified religious parent to be exposed to unholy black metal in all its fury."

As the original crop of black metal legends fade out or move on to new sounds, it’s up to a new generation of grim musicians to keep the banner waving. While many have merely imitated the sound, just enough of them actually hold true to the ideals of the genre and take the style further into new territory. Simultaneously jarring and harmonious, the debut offering from Dutch act Dodecahedron runs along the razor thin edge between two worlds and strikes all the right chords to be a properly disturbing black metal release that isn’t overly derivative.

The self-titled effort is billed as post-black metal, and that’s a nebulous enough term that it may or may not actually fit the music. Anyone seeing that particular genre identifier definitely shouldn’t think they are in for an ambient or atmospheric trip along the lines of something like Falloch, however. There may be some calmer sections here and there, but “Dodacehedron” is pretty uniformly crushing for its duration.

If the music was to be compared to the output of any other band, it would have to be Deathspell Omega, as the album is strongly in the same sort of spirit as the “Paracletus” release, even if the delivery ends up a bit different. The focus is on amazingly heavy yet completely discordant sounds, but there’s still an underlying melody that occasionally comes to the forefront. When they do appear, the melodic aspects don’t disappoint and are appropriately unhinged and bizarre, of course. Dodecahedron’s vocalist spits out his screams and shrieks like death curses at his enemies, as this is straight up spiteful music with a grudge that just won’t let go. Alternating between frantic blast beating black metal and music with a more measure pace that goes past eerie into frankly unsettling territory, these songs are a constant assault on the senses that can leave a listener disoriented.

“Dodecahedron” creates the sort of feeling that one can’t help but imagine was experienced by the first terrified religious parent to be exposed to unholy black metal in all its fury. This is music for people who like to be actively disturbed by their metal. These guys have a direct line to the darkness of the human soul, and they aren’t afraid to share it.

Highs: A tight balancing act between totally discordant and eerily melodic, all while being massively heavy.

Lows: The space themed interlude track doesn't perfectly fit the mood of the rest of the album.

Bottom line: Massively heavy and slightly disturbing black metal that hits the right balance of discordance and harmony.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)