The Round Up Tapes // Volume XI

Dodecahedron – Kwintessens

Dutch avant-horror group Dodecahedron are back after a seemingly eternal wait for their follow-up to the incredible Dodecahedron from 2012. Using their time wisely, the quintet have dredged another terrifying prospect from the depths and in Kwintessens they have a record that moves their avant-garde black metal ever further into the realms of chaos.

“Prelude” forces you directly into the abyss with frenetic beats and jarring guitars vying for space in the heat surrounding echoing voices and industrial machinations before “TETRAHEDRON – The Culling Of The Unwanted From The Earth” whirls into view on discordant rhythms and off-kilter attacks. M. Eikenaar’s vocals are guttural and filled with spite, his approach one of total hatred and in line with the despair that echoes throughout the music, which often turns on its own head and becomes increasingly more claustrophobic as time progresses.

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The Round Up Tapes // The Finality of 2014 Edition

2015 is upon us and I’m still trying to lock down things from last year. I have been terribly lax but my main resolution for this year is to keep up with the blog and with things people have kindly sent my way. These five releases are ones which have crossed my e-desk in the latter stages of 2014 and ones which deserve a little shouting about.

Atrum Tempestas – Néant

atrum

Atrum Tempestas tow a melancholy line on their first full length and Néant whispers with the pain of loss and the cold, harsh landscapes of winter are felt quite strongly throughout the desolate gaze of this record. “Quitter ceux qui étaient déjà partis” begins the album on a majestic and grand scale with the track floating on soft moments of sadness, bitter inflections of guitar and frost-filled vocals before “S’éclipser” moves into view with shimmering iciness and rasping, hoarse voices. The duo behind this Finnish project have created a record that, at times, is really wonderful yet it suffers a tad in terms of cohesion. Strong DSBM sections are matched by gorgeous guitar progressions that speak of hopelessness and sorrow which gives an emotional aspect and an aura of misery that Atrum Tempestas will do well to incorporate into future releases. Néant struggles a little in its closing moments and while the piano section is certainly beautiful, the way it has been worked through the music is jarring at best. Still, Néant is an excellent start for the band, and with time and work they could become something much more than that what we hear here – indulge in any case, for Atrum Tempestas are worth watching.

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Dark Fortress + Secrets of the Moon and Schammasch // The Underworld, London 20/10/14

It’s no secret that one of my favourite discoveries this year has been Swiss band Schammasch – after being sent the record to review (which still isn’t done, oops) and then creating a snazzy two page feature on the band for Subterranea, it was pretty darn exciting to hear that they would be heading out on tour with Dark Fortress (another band who have released an incredible record this year) and German legends Secrets of the Moon. All three bands bring something different to the blackened table and to hear them play off and against each other on The Underworld’s stage is quite the treat indeed.

dark tour

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Kvlt Albvm Ov The Weak

This edition of Kvlt Albvm Ov The Weak is a little different to others. Don’t be alarmed, it’s still totally dark but not in the way you’ve come to expect.

This time around….it’s AFI. OK, it’s not “trve kvlt grimmmmmmmm” black metal (deal with it); but this record is incredibly dark and twisted and there’s a depth to it that I appreciate more and more as I get older and older. I guess I should explain.

I love AFI.

They are the first band I really and truly fell for. I mean, I liked bands before that and Metallica were the first band I really got into, but there was something about AFI that spoke to me a on level I hadn’t experienced before. And I was fourteen. What the hell did I know?!?!

Black Sails in the Sunset still sounds as good today as it did the first time I heard it. The record after this, The Art of Drowning continued on the gothic path forged by it’s predecessor and then came the magnificent Sing The Sorrow. What happened after that….no one likes to talk about. So let us relive the glory days of one the most vital punk bands of their day.

1. Strength Through Wounding

2. Porphyria

3. Exsanguination

4. Malleus Maleficarum

5. Narrative of Soul Against Soul

6. Clove Smoke Catharsis

7. The Prayer Position

8. No Poetic Device

9. Weathered Tome

10. The Last Kiss

11. At a Glance

12. God Called in Sick Today

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