Dodecahedron - _Dodecahedron_
(Season of Mist, 2012)
by: Dan Lake (9.5 out of 10)
The following questions were excerpted from a black metal math test. Please choose the -best- response for each item.

1. A dodecahedron is a geometric solid consisting of how many faces?
   a) a lot
   b) BLACK FUCKING METAL!!!
   c) 12
   d) sometimes a good burrito makes me feel like dropping a geometric solid

2. Fill in the blank: The number of black metal records brimming with personality is ___ the number of black metal records you can describe without ever listening to them.
   a) greater than (>)
   b) BLACK FUCKING METAL!!!
   c) less than (<)
   d) first let me fill in this commode with my geometric solid

The correct answers are both C. (Isn't it always?) If you answered A, thanks for at least trying. If you answered B or D, you will be removed from class and strangled with your own intestines shortly.

Those of you who are left, listen up. The non-believers might have drawn the lines for 21st century black metal between the unrelenting lo-fi antics of facepaint enthusiasts hellspawned too late to be authentic second wave retirees and the progged-all-out-of-proportion black-inspired artgaze, but all of us who know better get to listen to idiosyncratic nasty-liciousness like Dodecahedron's Season of Mist debut. The Dutch quintet wallow in the same dreary, melted chords as Sweden's Bergraven and draw from the same poisoned well of electronic space as Snorre Ruch's unfuckwithable Thorns project. But far beyond easy comparisons, this recording spits fiery passion and soaks the audience in its own perfect eccentricities.

"Allfather" broadcasts the band's intentions with a blitzkrieg of curdled arpeggios and bloodthirsty blasts, but hardly ninety seconds pass before the song cracks the serpents' den wide open and releases a stream of slithery percussion, bass lines, and vocal moaning. Follow-up "I, Chronocrator" uses modern advances in death tech to splice some jazz-prog base pairs into the album's rotted out DNA, then gives up a significant portion of its middle section to a dense feedback drone that devours itself before the black metal combat boot heel drops more mid-paced mindfuckery back onto your skull. "Vanitas" and "Descending Jacob's Ladder" deploy robo-vox from the underbelly of the known universe, the latter sounding as if Lustmord was performed by a dozen damaged T-1000s instead of one sound-sculpting Brit. The extraordinary three-part "View From Hverfell" traces a thematic path I don't understand and don't need to. The songs are long, but never the interminable blur that characterizes half of all extreme "epics" out there, nor the unconscionable bore that plagues the other half.

Whatever. Ignore all of the bullshit above. All that matters is this:

We metalheads have sacrificed our time, sanity, and cochlear integrity for a reason. Dodecahedron are that reason.

Contact: http://www.ddchdrn.com/

(article published 12/2/2012)


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