From the land with magical smoking coffee shops and endless tulip fields, comes a new addition the the ever growing field of un-orthodox and experimental black metal. Dodecahedron is a geometrical figure with twelve regular pentagonal faces.
Dodecahedron, formerly known as Order of the Source Below, is a new experimental black metal band, with some melodic elements and interesting drum work. Though some claim that they are avant-garde, I do not agree; they are not challenging and innovate for me to be in the same realm with, for example, Solefald, Pyramids, Meshuggah.
Dodeacahedron, is a very well performed and well produced album, the songs are consistent, interesting and a great example of experimental, modern black metal. The guitars are melodic, and provides a nice atmosphere, though the aren’t really anything special. The vocals are a bit “standard”, feels like I’ve heard them before in some other bands… They may be a bit too many effects on them, but nothing that really bothers me, it is experimental right, so you have to be a bit crazy… right?
Probably the most experimental and interesting part of the album is the complexity and variation of the drums. From traditional blasts to complex, almost math-sounding rhythms, keeps you invested in continuing the journey and not just dismiss them as another band that tries to stand out by calling themselves “avant-garde” and adding some few effects to pass of as one.
I hate to go on a tangent now but the whole bushiness with the “experimental” and “avant-garde” label is getting a bit out of hand. Just because you use some effects and borrow some elements from another genre or style, doesn’t mean you are “avant-garde”. Avant-garde is a term for something that is ground-breaking och truly innovative and creates something new, something that takes an existing mold and reshapes it into something bizarre or unheard of. For example what Luigi Russolo created with the futurist movement and how interconnected our music is the the society it evolves in. Or how John Cage challenged the way we see music, and what constitutes as music (See 4’33”).
Experimental music, on the other hand, is a term for a style of genre that takes a, or some, elements, sounds, techniques or instruments from other genres and experiments with them. They may create a new sound of an existing genre, sub-genre, or a new form of an existing genre, as Venom did with thrash and heavy metal to create black metal. Experimental music creates something new with tools already provided and makes a new spin on something old.
Of course, these are my opinions and the whole discussion of what constitutes as “avant-garde” or “experimental” is still not completely over.
Anyhow, tangent over, on to Dodecahedron! You can really tell that Deathspell Omega has been a big influence on them, and you can pick up on similarities between them; like the song structure, melodies and guitars, the sound of the growls. Deathspell Omega has not been the only influence however, the slow and atmospheric song Decending Jacob’s Ladder is reminiscent of Axis of Perdition’s evil aura.
All things considered Dodecahedron’s debut is a solid listen, they borrow the right things from the giants in the genre and yet manage to create their own sound. Give them a listen if you are in the mood of some Deathspell Omega, but don’t want to invest in the effort of listening to them. Allfather and View from Hverfell are the highlights of the album.
(The album cover is nice to.)
II. I, Chronocrator
IIII. Decending Jacob’s Ladder
V. View from Hverhell I: Head Above the Heavens
VI. View from Hverfell II: Inside Omnipotent Chaos
VII. View from Hverfell III: A Traveller of the Seed of the Earth