Omnipotent Chaos

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DODECAHEDRON is yet another home run of a recommendation from my boy Graham Landers at Deepsend Records. What drew me to the band was the bleak cover design, reminding me of a lot of the Finnish death metal bands that I love, with their designs. DODECAHEDRON are from the Netherlands playing a hybrid form of black metal, with some death metal influences, however this band creates some menacing atmosphere that reminded me a bit of Ulcerate and Mitochondrion, and I was hooked once I heard their debut self titled album, which was released last year.

Some tunes get up there in length, but this is one interesting band with a lot going on in their songs.  I find them to be original, not typical and may require repeated listens to get into.  They can be challenging at first but rewarding in the long term.  Serious, they create a bleak and stark atmosphere that can be depressing and evil at the same time.  They are an extreme band pushing the boundaries and experimenting with sounds that create rich dark textures and their ability to do this should be hailed and appreciated.  So I chatted with their composer/guitarist Mr. Nienhuis to get a better understanding of this vicious and amazing band, the read is below, as in as above so below.

Let us know your name and your role in the band?  How long have you been doing this for and why did you choose this type of music to play?

M. Nienhuis: I am the founder of DODECAHEDRON, I composed the music and play guitar. It started back in 2006 when I had the idea for a band that should be based on black metal, but with more focus on aggression and dismal atmosphere. I started writing music, experimenting with atmospheric layers and eventually finishing up demo’s doing all the instruments and vocals myself.

In 2007 I met J. Bonis who is an composer of electronic music from origin, and once he showed me what he was capable of in terms of sound synthesis and atmospheric layers, I felt that I was on to something. Using keyboards or orchestration didn’t do the trick for me, and with Bonis’ skills we were able to make something that would be distinguishable from other bands in the genre.

This approach gave me new insights which led to new compositions that ended up on the album. When Season Of Mist was convinced that it was relevant music we got to release it last year.

Your debut last year is un-fucking believable!!! How did you decide to make such an atmospherically, dense, crushing and experimental extreme record?  How can you top this?

M. Nienhuis: Aside from the reasons mentioned above: I was inspired by bands such as Mayhem, Emperor and Deathspell Omega but I felt that there was more to gain in this genre when it comes to extremity, atmosphere and aggression. I was searching for the right angle for a long time, but using more contemporary composition methods and approaches has helped me to deliver this creature in its most horrible form.

I don’t know exactly how I would top it and I am not concerned about that because the second album will have a different approach. The concept is slowly taking shape, and at this point it is interesting to me to see how it will evolve and what it is going to sound like exactly.

 What is the concept of the album? I mean it seems pretty dark and bleak to me.  Why did you choose the band name and what deep meaning does it have?  Why did you change yer name from Order of the Source Below?

M. Eikenaar:We chose the name because of the complexity and the mysterious meaning. According to Plato there were four elements: air, water, fire and earth. Each of these elements has a geometrical figure. He also spoke of a fifth element: the all containing universe and the dodecahedron as its geometrical figure. A perfect shape which contains all aspects of the golden section.The complexity of this figure and its meaning suits our music very well. Our music has many layers, contrasts and atmospheres. You will need a couple of listens to fully comprehend what is going on. The lyrics are very visual. I try to paint pictures with words. Metaphors from occult, mystical and even christian aesthetics as well as the harsh reality of this absurd world we are living in. From concentration camps to the pyramids. It is fascinating to see man as a creator and destructor at the same time. We are all elements trying to evolve and most of us fail miserably.

What are your plans for a new record and how does it sound compared to the debut?

M. Nienhuis: There will be a next album but what it is going to sound like is still unclear. Like I mentioned above, the concept is taking shape and the vision on how it should sound is becoming clearer, but we don’t know yet.

How difficult is it to play your music?  It seems rather a daunting task to try and emulate this live, how has your live performances gone over? Also your drummer, may be one of the best in extreme music.  His rolls/fills are tasty, brutal and tight as hell, how can this as well as your sound be expanded upon on future releases?

M. Nienhuis: I guess that depends on how much you actually play the music. We don’t play live so I would have to maintain a practice routine but there’s no point to that. Our drummer J. Barendregt has indeed a tasty way of playing DODECAHEDRON music and approaching his drum kit. We are always learning and exploring possibilities when it comes to art, so that most certainly will be expanded on the next record. How that will manifest itself is a question I cannot answer yet.

How is the scene in the Netherlands and are you supportive of your scene?  Do you attend shows and what advice can you give to other bands?

M. Nienhuis: I think the scene in The Netherlands is doing fine at the moment. Eikenaar and I frequently attend shows and it is good to see acts like URFAUST and TERZIJ DE HORDE do their thing for some time now, while VERBUM VERUS decided to start playing live shows since they were asked to play with the very talented SVARTIDAUDI from Iceland. Next to that Eikenaar’s other band NIHILL recently did their first show on Roadburn Festival and the responses have been very good. There are also other interesting studio projects like GETHSEMANE emerging.

How is Season Of Mist supporting the album?  They placed a sticker on the cd that said it had hints of Voivod’s classic Killing Technology, do you agree with that assumption?

M. Nienhuis: It’s hard to elaborate on associations that people make with our music. The fact that Voivod’s name is being mentioned however is something I don’t regret since they were/are a very progressive and boundary pushing outfit. I got to meet these guys when they were curating part of Roadburn Festival last year and I was glad to hear that they really like DODECAHEDRON.

 There was a recent study done that ranked the Netherlands as the ‘happiest country’, are people generally in a good mood in your country?  If so do you feel like it’s your role to counter that with creating music that most would consider to be depressingly somber and dark?

M. Nienhuis: I haven’t heard about that study but I looked it up and yes, apparently The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Finland appear to be the countries with the happiest population. This is an interesting result if you keep in mind that Norway’s biggest export product is or used to be black metal and that research by the writers of ‘Lords Of Chaos’ has shown that the vast majority of black metal musicians (in Scandinavia) come from stable families with little social arrears. It makes sense, because if you are busy trying to find food all day you don’t have time to make music.

As an artist, I find myself standing on the side of society as an observer. From these observations I was able to create the music for DODECAHEDRON. This music is not for the majority and thus not comparable to this study. On the other hand: it takes a bit of mental strength or experience to listen to it I guess, you need to be equipped for it. However, there has never been any intention to counter happiness with this music, only to try to exceed in extremity and dismal atmosphere.

 Do you visit a lot of the national parks, lakes and nature reserves in your country?  Seems like it’s very picturesque and a great place to vacation or do you spend a lot of time in the red light district, in Amsterdam?

M. Nienhuis: Yes, I like to be alone in nature from time to time. There are some nice desolate area’s up in the north, a big forest area in the middle of the country and Zeeland (south west) with all its water can also be very nice . People who are concerned with spending time at the red light district should consider spending that time at the Dutch ‘snackbar’. There is a rich snack culture in The Netherlands where (next to fries of course) specific meat snacks like kroket, frikandel and mexicano are consumed with loads of sauces like mayonnaise, curry sauce and ketchup. Much better than fucking prostitutes.

Any live shows or tours planned for this summer?

M. Nienhuis: No.

 Do you support King Willem-Alexander or do you feel the monarchy is a charade in your country, he has limited powers but can exert some influence, is this something that you feel is beneficial to your country?

M. Nienhuis: No I don’t really see any benefits to the monarchy, except for diplomatic reasons maybe. It costs our society a lot of money and its function is only ceremonial so I support the idea of getting rid of it in time, unless somebody is going to come up with a lot of proof that there are substantial diplomatic advantages to the monarchy.

 Any final thoughts/comments?

M. Nienhuis: Thank you for having us Frank.


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