Music Review: The Eye of the Icosahedron by Dungeon Weed

After 1000 years of life, the sorcerer has grown bored by his existence. One night he has a dream and learns of a magic device called the Eye of the Icosahedron. The wizard summons a demon to find out what the Eye is and how he might access its power. The wizard weaves spells and overcomes dangers to acquire the Eye but all is not as he hoped it would be…

The Eye of the Icosahedron is a psychedelic doom metal double album telling the story of an undying wizard and his search for release from his torment.

The more I listen to this album the more I like it. It is especially rewarding for those who listen to it all the way through without distraction. While preparing to write this review, I took the time to put on my headphones and gave the music my full attention. I’ve listened to the album multiple times but never in this way. It was a real treat to be absorbed by an album.

Dungeon Weed’s previous album Mind Palace of the Mushroom God had a lot of Dungeons & Dragons references. Black Pudding and Beholder Gonna Fuck You Up are obvious allusions. The Eye of the Icosahedron has some clear D&D influences but not as much. It feels more like a Clark Ashton Smith story. It’s familiar enough to keep you in the story while still being weird and disorienting.

The album’s foundation is the dropped tuned, heavily distorted, fuzzy riffs familiar to fans of the doom metal genre. The riffs are sinister and often have some catchy hooks.

A lot of doom bands sound much the same. Drop tuning, plodding slow tempo, power chord based riffs, growly vocals about weed and wizards.

The Eye of the Icosahedron fulfills the expectations of a doom album while providing an agreeable and complementary novelty to the genre. Dungeon Weed layers spooky synthesizer melodies, guitar effects, voice effects, and sound samples to make a more complex and interesting mix. The doomy chugging guitar riffs with sustained notes connecting each repeats are the backbone of the music. The layered synth melodies, subtle drumming and sound effects fill the spaces between the notes.

While there are many standout tunes in the album that would be fine in any playlist or mixtape, the album hangs together as a whole and is at its best when heard that way. The baleful tunes give way to melodic acoustic transitions marking each sequence of the story and tying them together thematically. As the album progresses to a more kaleidoscopic psychedelic flavor with a motley of synthesizers and sound sampling. Written and assembled for release as a vinyl album and cassette tape, the album is split into sides with each “side” being a sequence in the story.

The last song in the opening sequence of the album is The Invocation of Y’ag Z’gryoth about the summoning of a demon who interprets the wizard’s dream so that he may learn about the Eye. Starting with an acoustic melody, the song drops into sinister, droning, doom metal the rest of the way through. The vocals are a growling croak with a melodic chorus that sends a shiver down my spine as I imagine the wizard interrogating his infernal informant.

In comparison, Mesmeric Scintillations opens with a lighter synth tune before the guitar assault comes on. The doomy character is still there but the vocals are much more melodic. Twenty Planes of Reality shows the influence of psychedelic rock with some drone and synthesizer complementing the guitar riffs. The synth is reminiscent of the strangest of P-Funk songs.

This album is very much in the Do It Yourself spirit. Dimitri Mavra wrote the music, lyrics, the story, and played most of the music. He had help from a few friends but I get the sense this is very much Dimitri’s album. He also produced the album art and released it on his own label. I bought the CD which came in a folding four panel wallet style sleeve. The art is fun, a little whimsical and retains the weird sword & sorcery character of the album. I enjoy buying music from the artist who made it without a lot of middle men taking a big cut.

I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of this album and I recommend it to those of you who are into metal music inspired by sword & sorcery and old school fantasy adventure gaming.

One thought on “Music Review: The Eye of the Icosahedron by Dungeon Weed

  1. Elrik

    I had high hopes for this new album.
    I thought it fell a little flat and was a bit uninspired , like he rushed to put it out. I really liked the vocals on the first record , they were creepy and fitting while the female vocals were a perfect compliment. The vocals and production were a bit off on this one. The first record is pretty f’n right on and great, this one is up on the shelf where it will collect dust.

    Like

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