Friday, April 6, 2012

Dissection - Storm of the Light's Bane [1995]

Melody has always been a difficult beast to handle in the metal world simply because if you use too much of it, you're likely to be placed in a group of horrific bands that you would never want to be in such company with. If you don't use any melody, then you had better have the riffs and everything else to impress. But if you're like Dissection and you know how to incorporate the perfect amount of melody with stunning riffs and a bleak and chilling atmosphere, then there should be no worries. "Storm of the Light's Bane" is infinitely better than the debut from these Swedes and it is praised the world over for its magnificence in conjuring the perfect aura for the band's black metal stylings. 

The opening song of the record, "At the Fathomless Depths" sets the tone for the rest on the songs with a very haunting and looming feel of dread, while also possessing an almost classical sense to the music. The next song "Night's Blood" opens with a decent thrash riff, only to morph into a blistering melodic tremolo section followed by some brilliant midpaced riffage. While on the subject of riffs, there aren't many on this album, well in the traditional sense. The majority of the rhythms on "Storm of the Light's Bane" are your typical black metal tremolo patterns and the occasional thrashy riff, but for the most part the bulk of this record centers around the melodies that are so perfectly intertwined with the frenzied drumming and Nodtveit's tremendous vocals. "Soulreaper" is probably the best example of what Dissection sounds like when storming through at full force rather than focusing on melodies and atmosphere, settling for a blistering sound that could shatter bones. 

Dissection also loved their acoustic guitars, making for some memorable moments on "Night's Blood" and "Thorns of Crimson Death," as they find their place in the songs as more of an interlude that raises the hair on one's neck rather than a showcase of technical proficiency. The intro to "Where Dead Angels Lie" is also one of the most memorable acoustic intros in recent memory as it makes way for the impeccable melodies that follow it. "Storm of the Light's Bane" isn't a record that should be written off as some boring Gothenburg melodeath album, but one that should be listened to on repeat for its sound is the equivalent of a raging ice storm that would bury a small village. If that doesn't sound appealing to you, then I would hope you find yourself caught in said blizzard. 

"Night's Blood"
"Where Dead Angels Lie"
"Retribution - Storm of the Light's Bane"

Final Rating
Masterpiece [9.1/10]