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REVIEW: DODECAHEDRON – “Kwintessens”

The best way to make progression in music, at least in my opinion, is to experiment. Trying out new things is what breaks the boundaries of conventional songwriting. It elevates the music, in some cases, to a higher plane. The band I will be introducing to you today is a band that seems to experiment a great deal. Who am I talking about? DODECAHEDRON, of course! The band from the Netherlands incorporates technical and experimental aspects into their black metal core, which makes for a mix that ought to be intriguing. So let’s look at the record.

Kwintessens is the name of this fine piece of art and it will be coming out on the 17th of March. The first track on the album starts off with a thick noisy sound under which drums and hints of vocals are to be heard. But this is just a tentative dip of a toe into the pool of madness that this record bathes in.

The first full-length track on the album is “TETRAHEDRON – The Culling Of The Unwanted From The Earth”. That is quite a mouthful. It jumps directly into the action with a dysphoric, trembling riff that is sure to thrill everyone listening to this song for the first time. The other instruments pummel in the background, always feeding the dark atmosphere of the song to give the vocals and lead guitar additional ambiance. As the song reaches the one minute mark, the lead guitar bleeds into the background, giving way for the technically proficient playing of the other band members. The tremolo picked guitar and bass play a counter-pulse to the vocals, keeping the listener excited about hearing the song a second time in order to explore the different elements of this track. One of the more intricate and interesting things about this song happens around its middle. The drums begin to play louder and more percussively while the stringed instruments push forward with a Krallice-esque groove. As the song slowly fades out, we are introduced to light elements of industrial metal.

The songs on this album are quite a ride. If you are into dynamic songs with a lot of edge and uncompromising, blackened grooves, then this is definitely an album for you.

The next song I want to talk about is “DODECAHEDRON – An Ill Defined Air Of Otherness”. At the midpoint of the record, it also showcases much of the group’s versatility.  It starts with a Fallujah-esque clean intro, with lots of shimmering reverb. The almost uplifting beat is wonderfully accentuated by the drums. The next second, the distorted guitar and the vocals break in and pull you, once more, deeper down the rabbit hole. Surprisingly, the ambient clean tone doesn’t stop and adds a nice uplifting feel to the usually dark mix. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the song for you as it is really great, but I can tell you there are a lots of ambient, ethereal soundscapes.

I enjoyed this record a great deal. The signature counter-pulse grooves are instantly recognizable and fantastically executed. It is quite hard to retain such dark atmospheres under such heavy grooves. Yet, through using a variety of elements, the band consistently manages to capture the listener’s interest. The pacing of the record is effective, giving the listener time to breathe in between the gritty atmosphere while providing awe-inspiring moments. If you are already a fan of DODECAHEDRON, Krallice or Deathspell Omega, you should definitely listen to this album. Of course, I also have to go into the negative aspects. The mix is sometimes quite muddy and the record may sound repetitive for some who aren’t willing to really sit down with the record. However, it’s still one of my favorite records this far in 2017 and I definitely will put it in my top releases this year.

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Score: 9/10

Notable Tracks: “DODECAHEDRON – An Ill Defined Air Of Otherness”; “TETRAHEDRON – The Culling Of The Unwanted From The Earth”

FFO: Krallice, Deathspell Omega

 

You can follow DODECAHEDRON on Facebook as well as on Bandcamp.

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