Sound — 10
This is a review of the Storm Of The Light's Bane/Where Dead Angles Lie digipack. I've never seen the two sold separately so far, but I could be wrong. The sound is pure black metal - that mysterious, beautifully expansive guitar sound typical of a lot of black metal bands nowadays, but Dissection certainly do it to perfection. The recording quality isn't purposefully shabby like older Darkthrone and Mayhem, which suits it. It has more of an atmospheric quality to it, though it certainly has the pagan ideas molded into the music. Or, as vocalist/guitarist Jon Nodveidt puts it, "The music and the lyrics are rituals, invocations and evocations to the gods of darkness." There are only a few very brief guitar solos, but the playing is incredibly technical nonetheless, taking a classical influence in the acoustic portions and the two piano-driven tracks. Beautiful playing, perfect sound. The drums are particularly great - they drive the music and yet are in the background, sounding as if the band was playing in the middle of a cold winter storm. Perfect sound.
Lyrics — 9
Pretty typical black metal stuff about Satan, burning Christians, etc. Of course, it's made eerier by the fact that Jon is in jail currently for killing a man, but it's nothing fans of Mayhem and Burzum aren't familiar with. They certainly work with the music. Jon has a great voice, using the time-honored high-pitched black metal raspy growl. He tries out some gutteral vocals on a few tracks with great results, which makes me wish he had experimented a bit more. Still, just as the "cookie monster" death metal style has worked since Chuck Schuldiner, Morbid Angel, and the like, this vocal style is great for black metal. Also a good album for people trying to get into heavier music.
Overall Impression — 10
Haven't heard any other Dissection albums so I can't judge, but this ranks high on my list of albums anyway. Every track is perfectly placed, even though the album is a mix of two albums, it flows better than it would without the extra Where Dead Angels Lie tracks. However, after No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep, the true "outro" to most of the album, there are a few extra tracks, inncluding a demo version of Dead Angels that has almost no point other than its sub-par sound, though that's obviously to be expected. There are also two covers: Elisabeth Bathory by Tormenter, which is alright, and a cover of Anti Christ by Slayer. The Slayer cover has great guitar tone but not much else besides that. However, after that is a great and brief piano piece called Feather's Fell. After the breath of air comes the most aggressive track on the whole CD, Son of Mourning. Very different - still the same Dissection, but not as much beauty as raw power. In my opinion, the album could have been reworked to cut out The Dead Angels demo and the two covers, but it's all great material, and the not-so-good is certainly listenable. I love just about everything on Storm of the Light's Bane, with the exception of the 3 useless tracks I mentioned before. If it was stolen or lost I'd absolutely buy another copy. Great black metal, great metal, great music, period. Get it. Especially good for an introduction into true metal or black metal.