Storm of the Light's Bane

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Band Name Dissection (SWE)
Album Name Storm of the Light's Bane
Type Album
Data de aparición 17 Noviembre 1995
Labels Nuclear Blast
Enregistrado en Unisound Studio
Estilo MusicalMelodic Death Black
Miembros poseen este álbum713


Re-Issue in 2012 by The End Records
 At the Fathomless Depths
 Night's Blood
 Where Dead Angels Lie
 Retribution - Storm of the Light's Bane
 Thorns of Crimson Death
 No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep

Total playing time: 43:16

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Crónica @ Satanicarchangel

26 Abril 2013

Why on earth did this take so long for me to get into?

The general consensus when it comes to two of melodic black metals best albums is that Storm of the light’s bane instantly hits you whilst Far away from the sun requires perseverance and time to get into. For me the opposite is true, whilst Far away from the sun amazed me on first listen with its plethora of melodic riffs, desolate atmosphere and fantastic musicianship Storm of the light’s bane took time to get into. A total of 9 months was spent trying to get this album to penetrate my thick skull. Although the first time I heard it I thought it was good I couldn’t see where all the praise was coming from. I dubbed it as overrated and spent no further thought on it. However recently I listened to it again and it finally clicked for me. How could I have spent all this time missing out on the majesty this album contains? I’m normally easy to please when it comes to music, to get an idea of how easy going I am with music I love a bit of dubstep. You can’t get more open minded than that if you’re into metal! I’m a huge fan of the whole fusion of death metal and melodic black metal, it always works for me. First time I heard this however, it didn’t. It didn’t sound right. I guess that’s because I was under the impression that all melodic black metal has to sound like Catamenia and Vinterland to be good. Even stranger is that I instantly fell in love with Sacramentum, a band who have a very similar sound to Dissection. I think it was due to pre bias that I couldn’t get into it, I’ve read so many rave reviews proclaiming it to be the best black metal album of all time that I couldn’t take them seriously. Of course I went into this album with the view point that it isn’t going to be as good as so many people proclaim it to be, which was a really bad move because this album is phenomenal, not the best black metal album ever by the way, that spot will always be reserved for Far away from the sun but it’s close.
Dissection plays melodic black metal with elements of death metal; mainly in some of the heavier riffs. Their sound is characterized by dual guitar harmonies and prominent use of clean guitar breaks. This album is stylistically all over the place with influences from Iron Maiden to Kreator, to Morbid Angel and Immortal. For me this is a strength the variation helps keep it interesting and prevents it from stagnating. As a side note I’ve heard this album being labelled as Gothenburg, I can’t stress how unbelievably incorrect this is. Whilst Gothenburg is simply the original style of melodic death, Dissection play melodic black. There is very little in common between Dissection and the likes of At the gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. Although their last album Reinkaos is certainly more of a Gothenburg album, on Storm… the sound is more or less straight forward black metal imbued with lots of melody and a little death metal influence.
Storm… is highly riff oriented; there isn’t an overabundance of synth found in a large number of modern black metal bands. Synths make an appearance on the outro but it complements the rest of the album nicely. The riffs are incredibly well written and melodic, Storm… certainly is one of the best guitar albums in the black metal scene although it still loses out to Welcome My Last Chapter (Vinterland) and Far Away From The Sun (Sacramentum). The riffs are also varied ranging from thrash influenced to more melodic sections. They certainly never get boring and there are enough hooks to keep them in your head long after the album has finished.
Unfortunately due to the high quality riffs the other instruments can be forgotten. The bass is somewhat subdued within the mix (it is a black metal album though, audible bass is a rarity). The drumming is very fast paced and keeps a perfect rhythm. The vocals are very good, Jon Nödtveidt has a very distinctive ghostly shriek that sounds very mournful. I wouldn’t go so far as to call his voice unique however, many other bands in the same style utilise a similar technique; Gates of Ishtar, Necrophobic, Sacramentum and Unanimated just to name a few also employ a similar technique. But whilst the others sound more vicious, Jon sounds more mournful and desolate. It works wonderfully in unison with the cold atmosphere of the album. Speaking of atmosphere this is one of the colder albums I’ve heard in melodic black metal, quite a lot of melodic black metal albums are all about the melody whilst leaving little room for atmosphere (Catamenia are a good example of this), although I have no problem with this I think it’s good when a band focuses on the atmosphere as well. Purists get agitated over the notion of “happy” black metal so it’s good that ideologically Dissection are sticking to a more purist form of black metal. There are still lots of melody mind you but the atmosphere is certainly on par with the early works of Darkthrone and Burzum. It has a certain profound dark and evil edge to it whilst still keeping lots of melody in the music; I find that not very many bands are capable of pulling off both stunning melody and a dark, evil atmosphere. Other than Dissection the only other bands I can think of off the top of my head that combine both an evil atmosphere with lots of melody would be Naglfar and Rotting Christ.
What’s also worthy of note is the speed that everything is played at, whilst many melodic black metal bands such as the previously mentioned Catamenia and Forest of Fog play slow to mid paced, Dissection play much faster with the only other bands I can think of who can match the speed are Naglfar and Thulcandra.
This really is a fantastic album and although I wouldn’t call it the best black metal album of all time, it’s pretty close. The influence this album has had on the black metal scene is legendary and shouldn’t be understated. It really is a shame that this album took so long for me to get into and I can’t believe I was missing out on such a phenomenal album for all this time. Ignore this album and you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. Highly recommended.
Overall rating- 19/20
Favourite track- Night’s Blood

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