The Somberlain

Dissection - The Somberlain ©1993 No Fashion Records
1. Black Horizons
2. The Somberlain
3. Crimson Towers
4. A Land Forlorn
5. Heaven's Damnation
6. Frozen
7. Into Infinite Obscurity
8. In The Cold Winds Of Nowhere
9. The Grief Prophecy/Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom
10. Mistress Of The Bleeding Sorrow
11. Feathers Fell

It's really hard to find fault with Dissection. Truly one of the stand-apart bands to come from the Swedish death/black metal scene (the band doesn't claim to be black metal, so take that as you will), Dissection was head and shoulders above many of their counterparts in sheer talent and songwriting prestige. Reminding me slightly of the better years of thrash (I always think Destruction, for some reason, which is not an entirely correct comparison) and always aggressive and chaotically beautiful, The Somberlain is one of those albums that just needs to be in your collection. The title track itself is all the reason you need. Containing complex but fluid riffs as well as some exquisite lead breaks, it is but one of many highlights of the disc. Each track is extremely rich in depth and would truly require many dedicated listens to properly assimilate. Needless to say, The Somberlain is a genre highlight that is worth all the praise heaped on it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/1999

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Storm Of The Light's Bane

Dissection - Storm Of The Light's Bane ©1995 Nuclear Blast
1. At The Fathomless Depths
2. Night's Blood
3. Unhallowed
4. Where Dead Angels Lie
5. Retribution--Storm Of The Light's Bane
6. Thorns Of Crimson Death
7. Soulreaper
8. No Dreams Breed In Breathless Sleep

Dissection is another one of those Scandanavian "savant" bands who displayed flashes of complete brilliance before the stupid, senseless actions of the band's leader forced them to stop their activities as a band. As a result, the band only released two studio albums as their legacy with this, Storm of the Light's Bane, being the final of the pair.

Storm of the Light's Bane very much displays the bipolar aspects of this outfit. The music here is either quite powerful and amazing, such as "Night's Blood", or rushed, not completely thought out and directionless. Their mix of early 90s black metal speed and atmosphere with a more death metal sense of technical prowess made them an outfit that defied easy pigeonholing. But there was always a sense of hastiness to their music that made this seem like it could have been much better of an album with a little more care put into the process. The production of the album gives it an open, echoing sound quality, but occasionally puts the band out of synch with one another. However, the frantic pacing and overall power of the better songs make it still one of the more prominent releases in the mid 90s for extreme metal. Unfortunately, guitarist/singer Jon Nodtveidt was involved in a murder case and is now currently behind bars. As a result, Dissection has been no more since that development and yet another promising band has vanished after only a short period of time.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2002

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