Dissection – Storm Of The Light’s Bane
Storm Of The Light’s Bane
It’s not often I lavish praise on extreme metal albums, but hey, this is one solid slab of black/thrash metal. I won’t get into why vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Jon Nödtveidt was a scuzzwad, but this is about the music, not the musician.
The album opens up with “At The Fathomless Depths,” a brooding, atmospheric piece (same with the closer “No Dreams Breed In Breathless Sleep”), and segues into full-on thrashing fury with “Night’s Blood.” It’s obvious that Nödtveidt spent his childhood studying Iron Maiden, as the trademark harmonized leads are all over the album. The seemingly random acoustic bit in the middle kind of jumps out, but it works. “Unhallowed” follows suit as another aural assault.
“Where Dead Angels Lie” is an incredible thrash ballad (if such a paradox can truly exist…”thrash ballad” in most circumstances is like dividing by zero). Jon has a killer ear for melody, and while he and rhythm guitarist Johan Norman aren’t the most gifted axeslingers on earth, they get an incredible sound, and the playing has a little bit of “human-ness” that a lot of more technically proficient guitarists lack. Also, holy crap is that an inhuman shriek after the short acoustic break!
“Retribution – Storm Of The Light’s Bane” is a killer midtempo thrasher with more great leads and riffs (the drumming is pretty vanilla on the entire album). “Thorns Of Crimson Death” is something special. It’s not just the best song on the album, or even of the band’s career. We’re talking a genre-defining song, and one of the best metal songs ever cut to tape. The whole intro (minus the drums) could easily be put into an Iron Maiden or Judas Priest track and not sound out of place. The verse riff is total NWOBHM worship; the midsection is another killer melodic riff set. Simply put, this is on the list of songs you need to hear before you die.
“Soulreaper” is another killer black/thrash track that will have you headbanging in a fury, closing the album out in epic fashion. The production on the album is a bit…different. The drums are very clear, but the guitars and vocals sound like they were recorded in an icy tomb; though it’s not a bad thing, the album has an incredible vibe that a slick, high-budget production would probably kill. Simply put, you can visualize the cover art as being an image of the sound. It’s not often that a guitar tone can set the scene, but if you don’t hear frozen, barren wasteland, you’re doin’ it wrong!
Kylie’s rating: 4.75 out of 5