Dodecahedron
Kwintessens

More often than not, I can formulate and knock out a review of an album fairly quickly- 4 to 5 listens on the average. However, the second effort from the Netherlands’ Dodecahdron has me flummoxed, but in a good way. A twisty, suffocating, avante garde black/death metal record that’s hard to get a grip on, it reminds me of a mix of Schammasch’s patient ritualistic blackened throb, An Ominous Circle‘s nauseating, atonal black/death metal and of course Deathspell Omega‘s discordant swirl.

Regardless, it’s not an easy, quick or fathomable listen. From opening lurch of intro ‘Prelude” to closer “Icosahedron – The Death of Your Body”, Kwintessens is a jarring, palpably tense listen. The discordant, dissonant rumbles and tumbles, just seem tuned in such a away to crawl up your spine and burrow into your brain. Notably,  third and longest track “Hexahedron – Tilling the Human Soil”, which frankly wore me out around the 6:30 minute mark , one of the few times, I’ve physically had to tap out while listening and take a break from an album as it felt like the very brimstone fire of hell was echoing in my skull.

The dirtier, fuller un-black metal guitar tone and tribal, almost industrial, pulsing drumming of Jasper Barendregt seems to be the main culprit, but the structure of the riffs is so fiercely atonal yet hypnotic, it  draws you in. Thankfully, fourth track “Interlude” provides a bit of a break, though its still a pulsing, instrumental throb. “Octahedron – Harbinger” delivers some sheer blackened chaos akin to label mates Nightbringer, but with a grimier, more down-tuned cavernous ooze. “Dodecahedron – An Ill-Defined Air of Otherness” initially looks to clear the suffocating air with a bright atmospheric intro before a patient mid paced shifty lope takes over before finally exploding in a death metal furor at about 4;46, and back to a surprisingly glistening close.  “Icosahedron – The Death of Your Body” closes things out with the albums weakest and least imposing track, a more choppy, twisty number, but it does collapse with a perfect sense of finality.

Season of Mist look to be having a really strong 2017 with this, Nightbringer’s Terra Damnata, Ulsect’s self titled debut (which features members of Dodecahedron) an improved Carach Angen and Necrowretch’s long awaited third effort. And even with 3 of the tracks on Kwintessens being instrumental, the remaining 5 leave such an impression that this is bound to stay with you long after its over.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 26th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    Great review and strong album. It can be a tough listen, at times, but a very original band!


  2. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    Nothing atonal about this. It has themes and variations and cycles through Keys, repeats chord changes, returns to tonal centers. There is some unorthodox harmony intentions and modern melody, which lie outside common scales. Not Atonal, which is really strict serial music, where every key and note is treated equally.


  3. Commented by: H4inz

    Ure right Glenn. If a bit nitpicky. Awesome album, btw


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