Sunday, 7 August 2011

CD Review: Storm Of The Light's Bane, by Dissection (1995)


Guitarist and vocalist Jon Nodtveidt lived a short and turbulent life. The Norwegian was sucked into nonsensical satanic worship and gang membership, spent seven years in prison for being an accessory to murder, and committed suicide in 2006, at the age of 31. In-between, he managed to produce some excellent heavy metal, most of it through his band Dissection.

Storm Of The Light's Bane was the second of three studio albums released by Dissection over a period of 13 years. It's a high intensity black death metal album with some spectacular classical-inspired segments.

Two out of the eight tracks are shortish instrumentals. But five of the meaningful songs are six minutes or longer, Dissection not interested in any half-measures. Night's Blood, Unhallowed, Where Dead Angels Lie, and Thorns of Crimson Death are undeniably intriguing and complex musical journeys, dangerous melancholy the dominant sound, classical influences to the fore.

All the songs suffer from some element of bloat, with passages that disintegrate under the pounding of unnecessarily incessant blast beats. But when the guitars of Nodtveidt and Johan Norman are allowed to lead and set the pace, the music is often brilliant. The over-riding guitar melody on Night's Blood is haunting; the emotional solo passage that breaks out in the middle of Unhallowed tingles the spine as effectively as a stroll through a darkened graveyard in the middle of a winter storm. The final 90 seconds of Unhallowed is a tortured soul trapped in a brilliantly vivid vessel.

Where Dead Angels Lie slows down to generate even higher levels of danger, while grinding out a relentless riff with folk shadings that invites ghosts and goblins to a midnight dance party. Thrones Of Crimson Death ambitiously launches into an epic gallop that is frequently interrupted by clever pace changes.

The two other tracks, Retribution - Storm Of The Light's Bane and Soulreaper, suffer by comparison, wandering into territory where all the creativity is dominated by uninspired and overenthusiastic drumming.

Storm Of The Light's Bane is a worthwhile archaeological dig: some nondescript muck needs to be moved out of the way to uncover plenty of priceless artifacts.

Band:

Jon Nodtveidt - Vocals, Guitars
Peter Palmdahl - Bass
Johan Norman - Guitars
Ole Ohman - Drums


Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. At The Fathomless Depths - n/a (short instrumental)
2. Night's Blood - 9 *see below*
3. Unhallowed - 9
4. Where Dead Angels Lie - 9
5. Retribution - Storm Of The Light's Bane - 7
6. Thorns Of Crimson Death - 9
7. Soulreaper - 7
8. No Dreams Breed In Breathless Sleep - n/a (short instrumental)

Average: 8.33

Produced by Dissection.
Engineered by Dan Swano.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.






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