Review Summary: It's a love/hate relationship.
You either love it or you hate it. On first impression, it could be so blindingly different that you are left with a really bad taste in your mouth and think "This can't be happening...". Whether you like it or not, this is the last anybody will ever hear from Dissection, a band which made such an impact on the metal scene in such a short period of time it's redefining what bands are capable of accomplishing in their careers. Starting out with a bang and ending with an equal, but different, kind of bang Dissection was here, released 3 albums, and then was gone with the pull of a trigger. What was left in it's wake was something most bands can only dream of achieving. Dissection blasted their names into metal lore with "Storm Of Light's Bane", an album so impacting you'd be hard pressed to find a metal fan who hasn't heard of it. But the fame was cut short. Mastermind and frontman Jon Nodtveidt was put behind the cold bars of prison, where he would emerge 7 years later playing a whole different kind of metal.
"Reinkaos" came as a shock to diehard fans of Dissection, no longer are the tortured shrieks of Nodtveidt heard through the microphone, no longer are the grinding guitars weaving together to create hauntingly dark melodies which are so famed by Dissection. Basically, Dissection is a fragment of its former self, but even with their genre change from the depths of Black Metal to something which would be best described as Blackened Melodic Death Metal, Dissection manage to be the masters of the music they create. I'm one of the few who think this album is just awesome. I was caught with my pants down, I hadn't expected this album to be nearly close to what it turned out to be.
The bottom line is that people fail to actually listen
to the music, they just automatically think "Oh, this isn't like Storm Of The Lights Bane, which means it is a mediocre piece of garbage." That is like judging a book by it's cover. Look past the fact that yes, this is Dissection, and realize that there is only ONE remaining member from the original lineup, and if Jon decided to change Dissection's sound, who cares, people change their taste in music. The riffing is absolutely fantastic, its technical and very, very melodic. I was listening to this album the first time and wondered how people didn't like this. I'm a fan of Black Metal and Melodic Death, so a combination such as this is basically a musical orgasm, and Dissection really play this new style flawlessly.
The choruses are full of headbanging and breathtaking riffing which will get you off your ass and forgetting altogether what this band is and how good their previous work is, because the stuff they play here is still a very dark album, with lyrics all about Satan and hell and that sort of thing, leaving this part of Dissection's Black Metal roots intact, but pretty much everything else changed. Nodtveidt's vocals aren't as raspy and fast, instead taking a more Death Metal tone with a lot of Black Metal influence. The are deeper and much slower.
Songs like "Starless Aeon", "Black Dragon", "Dark Mother Divine", and "God Of Forbidden Light" contain riffs which will be in your head long after they are gone, as well as excellent soloing by Nodtveidt and the other guitarist Set Teitan. The way everything comes together in the songs, intertwining and re-arranging to create a climax toward the end of the song which simply cuts your head off, especially in "God Of Forbidden Light", where two different choruses come together as one for the conclusion of that track, it's the perfect song to just get up and headbang until your neck breaks.
There are also some rests here and there. "Chaosophia" is a nice acoustic interlude in the middle of the album to bring things back down to earth, and "Reinkaos" is a purely instrumental track, it shows the talent of each instrument (even though there is a lack of a bass player) to it's fullest potential, something many bands don't ever do. Also the last track, "Maha-Kali" is a slower paced, ballad like track, with an awesome bridge in which mesmerizing female vocals are sung behind Nodtveidt's whispered passage, before an awesome solo breaks out, with those great female vocals singing over a raging riff, it's just a fabulous showcase of songwriting ability.
I'm a big Dissection fan, and this was the final Dissection album I bought, so I was used to the old Dissection, but here I am loving this album in conjunction with their older material. Just approach this album with an open mind, be ready for something great, but very different. This album is simply another stone placed in the path of Dissection's legendary tenure in the metal world, showing how they will change so suddenly, and honestly Nodtveidt doesn't care, because he's going to play his kind of metal, whether you like it or not.