One of Italy's finest blackened death metal acts has made a return to the playing field in October of last year. This versatile little band named Voltumna is one that has been prowling the scene for several years now and has released one EP and three full lengths, with this album being their third and latest effort.
Dodecapoli is Voltumna's third and newest album released under the Sleaszy Rider Records label. This forty minute offering is jam packed with twelve tracks consisting of none other than brutal and dark-themed as well as fast paced death metal music. The four piece band also features themes related to Paganism, the Occult, mysticism and more in their works, which gives off a sort of unconventional feel to the overall product.
The riffage and vocals on this album are top notch and definitively add a sort of black metal or kvlt vibe many a times here and there. The production quality is gimmicky, but also includes a lot of atmospheric cues and melodic nods that give the music an extra layer. Dodecapoli has themes that are somewhat a breath of fresh air for the genre, with the interlude track making it clear through its otherwordly chanting and ambiance that this band is setting out to do something a bit different. Now, the vocal variety here is pretty well rounded, with an emphasis on black metal-type highs as well as some gutturals throughout. Combined that with all the tremolo picking, soloing, chugging, blast beat drumming and mostly everything else in this mix and you've got yourself this here album. Aside from these factors, Dodecapoli manages to keep steady structure and composure from start to finish.
I wish there was some more solo guitarring action for one thing, which is one aspect that is lacking in some sections more than others. Also, there could've been more done with the melodic sections that utilize the instrumental elements of what these guys have to offer...although I still thoroughly enjoyed it for what it was.
In conclusion, Dodecapoli is an engaging and entertaining album to listen to from front to back, especially if you're in it for the riffage and some of the vocal work. Sure, there are a couple of things that could've been changed; but, for what it is, it still goes above and beyond in most aspects. It's fast, it's brutally dark with interesting themes and structure, and it offers a lot of dynamic qualities as well. I'd easily recommend this one to even the tamest of black metal and/or death metal fans.
Fave Tracks: "Reading The Flames", "War of Supremacy"
For Fans Of: Behemoth, Necrophobic, Septicflesh and the like
**This release is available now at Sleaszy Rider Records' Bandcamp!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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