Sound — 10
The second album by the now-defunct Swedish black metal outfit shows a clear progression from their first effort, The Somberlain. While continuing in the same vein, Dissection have expanded on Somberlain's melodic black metal, and the resulting collection of songs shows a marked improvement in composition and songwriting. The sound is melodic, but at the same time uncompromising. The leads are placed in all the right places, the acoustic passages are beautiful and haunting with gorgeous melodies. The guitars on this album are worth a separate mention. Twin guitars can often get lost in the mix, and some bands fail to take advantage of the capabilities two guitars can give them. Dissection avoids both of these issues. Each guitar has a distinctive tone, and the parts are magnificently written to complement each other. The result is exceptional here, with a very powerful effect. Drums are great too. Mixed very well, so you can hear everything that's played yet it doesn't dominate the overall palette. And the talent of Ole Ohman. He doesn't overplay, but his playing is incredibly dynamic.
Lyrics — 10
Jon's vocals are something I always enjoyed, even on the disappointing Reinkaos. This album is no exception. Consistent quality vocal performance, and the lyrics to match. Jon had strong convictions, and the views expressed may not be something everyone agrees with. At the same time, they are well-written, and written from the heart, which gives the record the authenticity a lot of bands lack.
Overall Impression — 10
This album has been called "The pinnacle of Melodic Black Metal", and after hearing it once it's obvious why. From the chilling acoustic intro of Where Dead Angels Lie, to the excellent riffing in Unhallowed, and the mournful, piano-driven "No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep" instrumental, the album delivers consistent outstanding music, track after track. This album is born to be played on repeat, and the melodies captivate the listener's mind for days. The only track I found a little subpar was Soul Reaper, but even then it's a fantastic song. It's just the others are better. This album is a must-own for any fan of metal.