Rating:
N/A
Dodecahedron - Dodecahedron
20 January 2012


01. Allfather
02. I, Chronocrator
03. Vanitas
04. Descending Jacob's Ladder
05. View from Hverfell I: Head Above The Heavens
06. View from Hverfell II: Inside Omnipotent Chaos
07. View from Hverfell III: A Traveller Of The Seed Of The Earth


Dissonance for the sake of dissonance. I can think of many bands that have been tarred with such a brush. In many cases those distinctions aren't warranted; said bands repudiate such claims by exploiting variety, restraint and poise and make an art form out of cacophony. However I find giving Dodecahedron, Netherlands' newest bright sparks in the boundary pushing world of avant-garde black metal, such benefits of the doubt somewhat difficult at times. A common comparison you'll find laid next to this entity amongst reviews and descriptions is that of Deathspell Omega and, in a sense, that comparison is accurate and justified: Dodecahedron do exude the style of riff that have defined and made the French legends so revered (though not before the likes of Ved Buens Ende did the same) but it's done here in such a predictable and obvious manner that the majority of the moments seem unfathomably forced, consisting of every imaginable anti-riff lined up for sake of being the band that so desperately wants to be more "anti" than all the others. So much so it misses the point entirely. The avant-garde riff, bastardised beyond all recognition.

To be fair Dodecahedron do occasionally feel like they're doing something right and moments meld together quite nicely, such as the flow of "View from Hverfell II: Inside Omnipotent Chaos" (unsurprising considering its relatively conventional approach) but ultimately substance alludes them as a unified body of sound and ideas and the band fall back on garish blasting noise as a constant. Quite often the music is punctuated by absurdist, monstrous, electronically amplified vocals whose purpose of terrifying the listener is so flagrantly obvious that it's instantly rendered into caricature and parody. "Descending Jacob's Ladder" is the prime example: a childlike attempt at dark ambient horror that is more laughable than horrific.

From a visual and aesthetic perspective it's not hard to see why the internet populace has cottoned on so readily to Season of Mist's new Dadaist's. The name and form given to the band speaks volumes to the modernity within black metal and there's nothing wrong with that, music should always be pushed forward. What's more this kind of blasting horror has a nice, tasty market waiting for it in avant-post-industrial black metal circles which is most certainly en vogue in the current climate. But is it worthy? I would say no. Just because something has a semblance to Deathspell Omega it doesn't necessitate an instant free pass to greatness and Dodecahedron too often veer short of what makes a truly great and deep weaver of disturbing aural tapestries.

The result, in the end, then is little more than a one dimensional and hollow afterthought of the dissonant, modern masters that are Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord and The Axis Of Perdition, the occasional highlight tears Dodecahedron briefly from mediocrity. Technical mastery of extremely well played nothing. Like a zombie this is cold and unquestionably "evil" but it is also a rather lifeless and soulless shell of what it should be.


Band profile: Dodecahedron
Album: Dodecahedron


 


written by !J.O.O.E.! | 15.03.2012



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Troy Killjoy - 15.03.2012 at 16:51  
Hm, in spite of all the negativity I'm still rather eager to listen to this - if only for the DSO similarities.
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.03.2012 at 16:54  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 15.03.2012 at 16:51

Hm, in spite of all the negativity I'm still rather eager to listen to this - if only for the DSO similarities.

Never know, you might love it?
BoxCar Willy - 15.03.2012 at 16:54  
Fire-pisser! >:{

I actually really enjoyed this album...
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.03.2012 at 16:56  
Written by BoxCar Willy on 15.03.2012 at 16:54

Fire-pisser! >:{

I actually really enjoyed this album...

From what I gather so do most people who have listened to it.
BoxCar Willy - 15.03.2012 at 17:00  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.03.2012 at 16:56

Written by BoxCar Willy on 15.03.2012 at 16:54

Fire-pisser! >:{

I actually really enjoyed this album...

From what I gather so do most people who have listened to it.

Mind you I don't listen to too much avant-black so...

7.5 for me.
Ag Fox - 15.03.2012 at 18:30  
Reading reviews by Joe means I get to learn some new sophisticated vocab

in other words: I love your reviews, Joe. Looking forward to more
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.03.2012 at 18:33  
Written by Ag Fox on 15.03.2012 at 18:30

Reading reviews by Joe means I get to learn some new sophisticated vocab

in other words: I love your reviews, Joe. Looking forward to more

Your words fill me with a resplendent exultance.
Ag Fox - 15.03.2012 at 18:39  
Are you trying to apply the same rule of Marshall-learning-new-sophisticated-vocab to your individual posts as well? o.o
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.03.2012 at 18:41  
Written by Ag Fox on 15.03.2012 at 18:39

Are you trying to apply the same rule of Marshall-learning-new-sophisticated-vocab to your individual posts as well? o.o

I could but that would become tiresome and pretentious pretty fast
Ag Fox - 15.03.2012 at 18:45  
And that would make you like me - shallow and pedantic. Amirite?
!J.O.O.E.! - 15.03.2012 at 18:47  
Indubitably old bean!
strade - 16.03.2012 at 00:08  
Good review... but I liked the album better.
-DC-002- - 17.03.2012 at 04:40  
I tend to listen to the last 3 songs the most. They flow the best, and you are right about the band being off tempo just to be off tempo. A little green around the gills maybe but it's pretty good album.
Troy Killjoy - 17.03.2012 at 04:44  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 15.03.2012 at 16:54
Never know, you might love it?

I have a feeling this is going to be my Murmuüre of 2012.
Verdun_sc - 17.03.2012 at 04:56  
I didnt even listen to this. I listened to one song and it sucked.
Solemn23 - 17.03.2012 at 05:13  
Finally, a non-hype-blinded review..

I do have to mention, though: Axis of Perdition = immense frauds (and no masters, at all)
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.03.2012 at 13:08  
Written by Guest on 17.03.2012 at 05:13

Finally, a non-hype-blinded review..

I do have to mention, though: Axis of Perdition = immense frauds (and no masters, at all)

How do you mean frauds exactly? Their last album was a total shambles of a Deathspell Omega wannabe, but everything else they've done has been pretty excellent if you ask me (even the controversial Urfe) and their sound is more or less their own. Their ability to chop and change their approach with each passing release is a great feat. Hell, even Vindsval called them one of the true black metal bands.
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.03.2012 at 13:11  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.03.2012 at 04:44

I have a feeling this is going to be my Murmuüre of 2012.

Did you ever get round to listening to that? I can't remember.
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.03.2012 at 14:16  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.03.2012 at 13:08

...great feet...



what do size 15 feet have to do with anything?
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.03.2012 at 14:20  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.03.2012 at 14:16



what do size 15 feet have to do with anything?

Haha, whoops, lets put that down to being immensely hungover =P
Troy Killjoy - 17.03.2012 at 14:38  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.03.2012 at 13:11
Did you ever get round to listening to that? I can't remember.

I did. About a full year later. So come this time next year I should be able to tell you whether or not I agree with your review.
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.03.2012 at 14:40  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.03.2012 at 14:38

I did. About a full year later. So come this time next year I should be able to tell you whether or not I agree with your review.

Ha, I look forward to your feedback, I'll probably be all "what? I don't remember that albu.. oh that band, yeah I vaguely remember them"
3rdWorld - 17.03.2012 at 16:10  
This is a kind of BM album that fans of TDM should find really enjoyable.
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.03.2012 at 16:11  
Written by 3rdWorld on 17.03.2012 at 16:10

This is a kind of BM album that fans of TDM should find really enjoyable.

Pretty much yeah, it's a heavily technical album. Perhaps the reason I found it so sterile is because I generally dislike tech death.
3rdWorld - 17.03.2012 at 16:19  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.03.2012 at 16:11

Written by 3rdWorld on 17.03.2012 at 16:10

This is a kind of BM album that fans of TDM should find really enjoyable.

Pretty much yeah, it's a heavily technical album. Perhaps the reason I found it so sterile is because I generally dislike tech death.

Well this is really an incredibly dextrous review and it is good to have you back after that Botanist review, you did three months back. Your assimilation of these sort of unorthodox albums is pretty interesting to read. Good thing you are not rating albums these days.
!J.O.O.E.! - 17.03.2012 at 16:22  
Written by 3rdWorld on 17.03.2012 at 16:19

Well this is really an incredibly dextrous review and it is good to have you back after that Botanist review, you did three months back. Your assimilation of these sort of unorthodox albums is pretty interesting to read. Good thing you are not rating albums these days.

Cheers ;] I'll try and keep some sort of rhythm going for these reviews, I get pretty lazy though. I do tend to cherry pick unusual and bizarre albums to write about. It's just easier to write about music that has a lot going on.
DelightfulJim - 20.03.2012 at 16:04  
Meh, I enjoyed the crap out of this album, but that might be because I am easy as fuck to please.
Oaken - 20.03.2012 at 19:50  
I really enjoyed this. The dissonant riffs are quite kewl.
Solemn23 - 07.04.2012 at 01:48  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 17.03.2012 at 13:08

Written by Guest on 17.03.2012 at 05:13

Finally, a non-hype-blinded review..

I do have to mention, though: Axis of Perdition = immense frauds (and no masters, at all)

How do you mean frauds exactly? Their last album was a total shambles of a Deathspell Omega wannabe, but everything else they've done has been pretty excellent if you ask me (even the controversial Urfe) and their sound is more or less their own. Their ability to chop and change their approach with each passing release is a great feat. Hell, even Vindsval called them one of the true black metal bands.


I think you just answered your own question in the first line there..
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.04.2012 at 01:56  
Written by Guest on 07.04.2012 at 01:48


I think you just answered your own question in the first line there..

It generally takes more than one lacklustre album to denigrate a band's image for me, especially to the point where I call them "immense frauds" just for absorbing some foreign influence. The last Deathspell Omega was a dud but I don't judge them as an outfit for it, nor do I judge Blut aus Nord for the rehash MV:II record, they're both still great bands. As I said everything else TAoP have done has been stellar (pure mastery at what they do) and seeing as they change their style with each passing album it's unlikely it'll sound anything like the recent one.
Solemn23 - 07.04.2012 at 02:03  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 07.04.2012 at 01:56

Written by Guest on 07.04.2012 at 01:48


I think you just answered your own question in the first line there..

It generally takes more than one lacklustre album to denigrate a band's image for me, especially to the point where I call them "immense frauds" just for absorbing some foreign influence. The last Deathspell Omega was a dud but I don't judge them as an outfit for it, nor do I judge Blut aus Nord for the rehash MV:II record, they're both still great bands. As I said everything else TAoP have done has been stellar (pure mastery at what they do) and seeing as they change their style with each passing album it's unlikely it'll sound anything like the recent one.


1. nearly identically copying (ripping-off) an entire album of another band, to me, is reason enough to call someone a fraud.

2. Paracletus is a great album, imo.

3. I've never given a tundred f*ck about B.a.N. - Their value as 'pioneers' or what-have-you is completely unjustified, imo.
!J.O.O.E.! - 07.04.2012 at 02:08  
Written by Guest on 07.04.2012 at 02:03
1. nearly identically copying (ripping-off) an entire album of another band, to me, is reason enough to call someone a fraud.


A pretty typical exaggeration with regards the TAoP record, one not really worth trying to refute given the apparent defensive nature of DsO fans over the DsO sound ;] It took influence from it but failed to do anything interesting with it. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Quote:
2. Paracletus is a great album, imo.


In my opinion it's a rather tired effort of a band who've taken their sound to the limits of what they can do with it and start milking it for all it's worth

Quote:
3. I've never given a tundred f*ck about B.a.N. - Their value as 'pioneers' or what-have-you is completely unjustified, imo.


A shame for you, not a surprising one. BaN's sound has never garnered the hop-on-board fanbase and typical sound of black metal contemporaries. I still delight in the fact they're a total one off band with no other that even sound close.
Solemn23 - 07.04.2012 at 02:32  
1. There's nothing defensive about it, actually.. mere logical deduction which, going from both this reply & your completely ignorant retort in my 'orthodoxbm' list (here: http://www.metalstorm.net/users/list.php?list_id=2046&page=&message_id=) , makes it rather clear to me that you havn't the slightest idea or clue what DsO is or does..

Claiming DsO's last album could nicely be taken as a sellout/fame-targeting one because of the "sudden post-rock" vibe you got from it, only now.. - while DsO have have been going far beyond standard black metal into jazz, post-rock/metal & avant-garde since "Si Momentum Requires, Circumspice" & "Manifestations" (i.e. 2001-2002). Criticizing them only for their last album now, for being a bit more post-rock-ish to your ears (and as such more trend/fame hungry?), is complete ignorant nonsense.

2. I'm not going into a BaN discussion, as I know my dislike of them is against the grain of most hipsterish, aesthetics-loving fanbois. Their second 777 album had some interesting atmospheric partitions, but the general sound and drums (or should I say techno-engine?) is bothersome beyond words to me..
Troy Killjoy - 07.04.2012 at 03:37  
Nicely said, Joe.
Solemn23 - 07.04.2012 at 22:58  
Seems like you put a lot of thought and research into that reply.. quite an unfortunate effort as I frankly don't agree with any of it. But that's probably no surprise to you, as I clearly am the poster child for (black) metal elitism for all you seem to clearly deduct.

Doing a bit of 'research' myself, I've come across rather obvious facts why a discussion about these matters (or likely any others) with such an individual as yourself is completely futile.. So, beyond a means of supposedly strengthening your own rank or place to all other staff colleagues & forum-users .. I personally couldn't care less, and believe my point has been made clear to those (probably very few, seeing the main-focus of this forum/community) users here ..
Mr. Doctor - 07.04.2012 at 23:02  
Written by Guest on 07.04.2012 at 22:58
seeing the main-focus of this forum/community ...


Which is?
Marcel Hubregtse - 08.04.2012 at 03:02  
Written by Guest on 07.04.2012 at 22:58

Seems like you put a lot of thought and research into that reply.. quite an unfortunate effort as I frankly don't agree with any of it. But that's probably no surprise to you, as I clearly am the poster child for (black) metal elitism for all you seem to clearly deduct.

Doing a bit of 'research' myself, I've come across rather obvious facts why a discussion about these matters (or likely any others) with such an individual as yourself is completely futile.. So, beyond a means of supposedly strengthening your own rank or place to all other staff colleagues & forum-users .. I personally couldn't care less, and believe my point has been made clear to those (probably very few, seeing the main-focus of this forum/community) users here ..


weakesest response I have seen here since ever...


Now crawl back behind your keyboard and statr to be the warrior you pretend to be over at other forums...

you ******* *****

I wonder how many people you reallly spoke to in the real life black metal worl. Judging from your replies that would be none.
Solemn23 - 08.04.2012 at 04:53  
Oh, I'm sorry .. did I offend your precious biased forum/community? Unlike most people here, I for one don't feel the need to explain myself over and over. And be sure I have, as your failing to comprehend it is not my responsibility. My presence and opinions in and outside "the scene" are much hated ones, so get in line, yet I still maintain a vast amount of highly respected allies..

The age of virtual tough-guy and internet warriorism has long surpassed me, though at your age, I would suggest you would (finally) do the same. It's rather uncommon for forum staff to be handing out these kinds of futile lectures, opposed to just dealing with them more diplomatically. Fair enough.. I guess these must be the protocols of the forum, I presume.. yet rather counter-productive and highly contradictive to your own claims and goals.

Let me do as I've done in a previous topic on this forum and announce this to be my last reply on these or any other matters alike, with the added bonus of deleting my MS-account as this is clearly an inbred/selfserving environment. And ofcourse, this will undoubtedly result in being called a troll, coward or what-have-you.. But, it's just becoming rather exhausting to see the saying "Never Argue With A Fool - They Will Drag You Down To Their Level, Then Beat You With Experience!" being proven over and over..

So go on.. Dodecahedron, was it.. ?
!J.O.O.E.! - 08.04.2012 at 05:15  
Buh-bye, loser.
Troy Killjoy - 16.04.2012 at 04:32  
From the two songs I listened to on their Bandcamp page, this isn't the worst thing I've heard.

It's far from enjoyable though. They seem to try too hard at mixing DSO with Anaal Nathrakh or something and it comes out rather directionless. 6.5/10.
R'Vannith - 16.04.2012 at 06:53  
I'm beginning to see what you mean in your review. Of what little I've heard of this sort of Black metal this sort of feels a bit.. I guess not completely hollow but somewhat of a husk of what it should be. There's more to it than just a bastardisation of the 'avantgarde riff' I would say, sounds like there's enough substance to it.
From what I can gather you're saying its highly exaggerated to the point.. well to the point that it misses the point. There are times when it does it well though I think.
At what point was this predictable though? Do you mean the music itself is predictable, or its purpose (i.e going for that avantgarde 'look at me I'm different' feel)? Or is that pretty much one and the same?
I mean when I listened to it at first I certainly didn't have the foggiest what was going on. Maybe I just haven't listened to enough of this sort of thing.
!J.O.O.E.! - 16.04.2012 at 15:13  
Written by R'Vannith on 16.04.2012 at 06:53

At what point was this predictable though? Do you mean the music itself is predictable, or its purpose (i.e going for that avantgarde 'look at me I'm different' feel)? Or is that pretty much one and the same?
I mean when I listened to it at first I certainly didn't have the foggiest what was going on. Maybe I just haven't listened to enough of this sort of thing.

Well no music is entirely predictable, only predictable in the sense that there were no surprises in where they took it. For me this is on a similar level to a modern day tech-death record that extols technical workmanship over depth, only in this case it's in anti-riffs and dissonance. In fact in reflection I find this has a remarkable amount in common with tech death. At the end of the day tech death has practically nothing in common with death metal at any rate. To many though that's exactly what they want: pure dissonance, but something I've always loved is being taken to brink of extremity then being given a glimpse of something the opposite: a counterpoint, a harmony, something that gives it all new meaning. All this seems to have is stretched out slower sections with some ambient thrown in. It's all extremely monotonous and samey. I didn't really get anything here that I can't get from other bands, only done with more atmosphere, skill or pizazz.

As a matter of criticism I'd say this band need to concentrate more on their 'View From...' side than their first movement. More substance and songwriting there for sure.

Ultimately this just lacks a unifying identity from which their sound comes from. It's little more than a pastiche of other band's works and approaches hastily glued together with no real sense of progression or craftmanship. (I'm actually listening to this again now just to be certain and I'm no more impressed this time round after a big break from their music).
R'Vannith - 16.04.2012 at 18:32  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 16.04.2012 at 15:13

Well no music is entirely predictable, only predictable in the sense that there were no surprises in where they took it. For me this is on a similar level to a modern day tech-death record that extols technical workmanship over depth, only in this case it's in anti-riffs and dissonance. In fact in reflection I find this has a remarkable amount in common with tech death. At the end of the day tech death has practically nothing in common with death metal at any rate. To many though that's exactly what they want: pure dissonance, but something I've always loved is being taken to brink of extremity then being given a glimpse of something the opposite: a counterpoint, a harmony, something that gives it all new meaning. All this seems to have is stretched out slower sections with some ambient thrown in. It's all extremely monotonous and samey. I didn't really get anything here that I can't get from other bands, only done with more atmosphere, skill or pizazz.

As a matter of criticism I'd say this band need to concentrate more on their 'View From...' side than their first movement. More substance and songwriting there for sure.

Ultimately this just lacks a unifying identity from which their sound comes from. It's little more than a pastiche of other band's works and approaches hastily glued together with no real sense of progression or craftmanship. (I'm actually listening to this again now just to be certain and I'm no more impressed this time round after a big break from their music).


I see, so basically the way they construct their music here is predictable. Sounds very samey to me too, but in saying that it also doesn't have a sound I could have anticipated. Its unpredictable in a predictable way is what you're getting at I think. Its an emulation of the characteristics, which are essentially the use of those unconventional elements which identify them, of those bands you mention with no real ability to offer something which breaks free of a purely copycat scenario, they just can't deliver something unique. That is in their attempt to be unconventional they are pretty much sticking to a plan laid out by other bands, so not unconventional in any sense at all really.
Troy Killjoy - 26.04.2012 at 02:50  
Finally got around to finishing this the other week and forgot to re-visit this thread to tell you my thoughts.

For the most part the review is spot-on, especially the second paragraph. I found this to be a decent listen but I honestly wanted more from it. It teases you the entire time and then bam, it's over. And you're like... cool. Well I guess I should go listen to something else now.

Not captivating at all, but not offensive.
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.04.2012 at 02:53  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 26.04.2012 at 02:50

Finally got around to finishing this the other week and forgot to re-visit this thread to tell you my thoughts.

For the most part the review is spot-on, especially the second paragraph. I found this to be a decent listen but I honestly wanted more from it. It teases you the entire time and then bam, it's over. And you're like... cool. Well I guess I should go listen to something else now.

Not captivating at all, but not offensive.

Glad to know we're in the same ballpark ;] The best way to really get a good perspective of this is to play it in alternating fashion betwen DsO, BaN etc. Paints a pretty good picture of how this is merely a shell of sorts of what can be done with this style. As you say it's far from bad but lacks the meaty animal part under the shell.

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