Although it largely failed to register on the mainstream metal radar, Bleeding Gods’ 2015 debut album, Shepherd Of Souls, hinted at immense potential. Here was a young band with an intuitive grasp of how to make death metal feel epic and imperious, rather than merely brutish and extreme. Newly signed to Nuclear Blast, the Dutch quintet fulfil every promise on Dodekathlon. This is big, ballsy, widescreen extreme metal that sparkles with ultramodern polish while never dispensing with grit or viciousness. Drenched with evocative keys and moments of almost mischievous melodrama, highlights From Feast To Beast and Tripled Anger clearly draw as much from Emperor’s orchestral squall and Moonspell’s gothic pomp as from more traditionally deathly realms. Above all else, Bleeding Gods have penned some insistent, memorable songs here and Dodekathlon’s 60 minutes fly by with ageless vigour. New year, new gods.