Dodecameron - Kalikantzaros Wrath
Self released
Black Metal
6 songs (22'43")
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Alex

Thunder and lightning effects, creepy keyboards and synthetic trumpets intro plus the demon paint on the faces of band members – you can’t be mistaken, it is Black Metal. Dodecameron hail from Tijuana, Mexico, and subscribe to a brutal yet somewhat melodic version of the dark art.

Kalikantzaro’s Wrath is the first solid demo from the band. The demo has four actual songs with intro and outro and is a concept story about the fight between the human race and the dreadful race of the Kalikantzaroi headed by the beast Kalikantzaro who will not rest until all human life is exterminated. The story is quite fitting for a Black Metal record, but I can’t tell you how the concept is developed over the course of four cuts without the lyrics.

Dodecameron delivers its Black Metal straight up and does little in reinventing the proverbial wheel. Dodecameron songwriter (bassist Maelstrom) has a good feel for balance between brutal and aggressive on one side versus symphonic and melodic on the other side. Drums can blast and guitars can rage one second, but Dodecameron will have sensibility to include a melodic electroacoustic piece on one of the tracks (The Arrival of Evil Essence Over Ancient Fields). Most of the time guitars grind, but they also can throw a catchy and groovy riff (The Twelve Eves of Darkness). In fact, the best thing about Dodecameron is its string trio of Mundus (lead guitar), Neteru (rhythm) and aforementioned Maelstrom (bass). Keyboards provide the atmospherics and do inject the dose of iciness into the album. Leviathan does not dominate the mix with his electronics, and does not turn the record into ridiculous cheese. Grim is the word to describe the world of Dodecameron, although they lack the captivating power of Limbonic Art and Immortal.

The whole record just breathes low budget (only Dimmu Borgir can hire Prague Orchestra), just like it is the case with most young Black Metal adepts, but Kalikantzaro’s Wrath deserves “the most lo-fi record of the year” award. I completely understand this is Black Metal and I don’t have to decipher the vocals, but I should be able to hear when Royal Guard starts singing! The vocals, just like the bass drums, are completely buried into the mix. When the drums blast, and the snare is strong, the whole record holds rhythmically, but when Doppelsauger is not blasting he is hardly heard giving an impression that he is half a beat behind the rest of the band.

I knew I would not get a new Black Metal revelation with Dodecameron’s debut. Muffled Dissection and not as symphonic Limbonic Art is what Dodecameron reminded me of. The demo does hold together, and I had replayed it about five times before coming up with this review. Most importantly, I did it not because I needed notes, but because I wanted to hear more. The “demons” of Dodecameron need to stick with it and refine their art. The talent is there, determination is there as well. Shows with Behemoth will help for name recognition and growing local fan base. I just hope in the end mankind wins and Kalikantzaro is banished.

Killing Songs :
The Arrival of Evil Essence Over Ancient Fields, The Twelve Eves of Darkness
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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