It’s a depressing thought to know that one year, nine months, and fifteen days after Rebirth Of Dissection
was filmed, recently paroled Dissection front man Jon Nodtveidt would be dead. So as he and the rest of his band walk out onto the stage on the night of October 30, 2004, in front of a sold out arena in Stockholm, playing their first live show in over seven years, the mood is almost ethereal. With their A-game in minds and a set list full of almost every classic Dissection song, it is clearly apparent that this show will be quite unlike anything anyone in the audience has seen before, and indeed it isn’t.
Dissection has gotten untold amounts of flak for their newer material on their final album Reinkaos
, a release which firmly shifted the once prestigious blackened death metal band to a more simplistic melodic death metal vibe. However, on this DVD the set is entirely composed of material written before Nodtveidt was sent to prison, the only exception being the single “Maha Kali”. With such a lineup of songs, it’s hard not to be anxious to hear whether the band will work through the rust of being dormant for just short of a decade, and whether they can hold the attention of the audience with a lineup which bears no resemblance to the one which everyone knows and respects. The entire stage is awash in a sea of mist, with the new Dissection logo flying high on a large tapestry hung behind new drummer Tomas Asklund’s rather bizarre, towering drum kit. The lights come on, and Nodtveidt strikes his first chord.
The set begins, after a short introduction of “At The Fathomless Depths”, with one of their trademark songs: “Night’s Blood”. Immediately, you know that the band is indeed back together as a well-oiled machine, although a less complex, streamlined one at that. The drum fills and blast beats of former drummer Ole Ohman are instead replaced with watered-down versions which sound good, but don’t show near the complexity of the drumming on the studio albums. However, all of the instruments aren’t so easily stripped of their original technicality. The guitars of Nodtveidt and rhythm guitarist Sethlans Teitan are wonderful, their tone picked up beautifully by the near perfect audio-quality of the recording. The same riffs are played with frightening precision to their studio counterparts, with no errors or large shifts from the leads which the fans are so fond of. Instead, small changes to the riffs are made; whether they are played in a different tuning or a pinch harmonic or two are thrown in for added effect.
Whether it be the tremolos of “Frozen” or “Soulreaper” or the acoustic work of “Where Dead Angels Lie”, the guitars are as perfect as one could ask for. The harmonies are perfectly timed and sound very clean and professional, while the solos such as the one in “Maha Kali” are nailed perfectly down to the very last note by Nodtveidt, an impressive feat which really gets the already enthusiastic crowd going even more. A session bassist, Erik Danielsson, is used to pick up the crucial low-end which seemed absent from the mastering of “Reinkaos”, however on this live recording the bass is clear and well performed. Jon’s few hails to the crowd are in Swedish (rightly so, this is in Stockholm), but they seem effective at shortening that gap between the audience and the band, something which every front man needs to get right for their live show to be a success.
The camera work is quite impressive, with multiple angles always switching back and forth, but not too quickly as to cause annoyance in the viewer. Essential harmonies and solos are always presented with a camera zoomed in on the guitarists working the fret board, giving a great sense of realism to the video, because you are watching the band members play from up close, it’s as if you aren’t entirely aware that you are watching a DVD. The pacing of the show is flawless, with a break a little under halfway through the set which transcends their closing instrumental off Storm Of The Light’s Bane
, the piano piece “No Dreams Breed In Breathless Sleep”, into probably Dissection’s most popular piece “Where Dead Angels Lie”. The entire hour-and-a-half set is thoroughly enjoyable and easy to watch many times over, so this isn’t a set which you will watch just once.
The bonus features for the release are mostly throw-away. There is a music video for “Starless Aeon” which one could access on youtube in less time, and there is a semi-interesting picture slideshow. However, the real gem in the extras is a lengthy interview with Jon Nodtveidt, which goes over his beliefs, his musical trends and styles, and various other topics. It is a fairly enthralling piece to watch, and compliments the main concert feature very well. With a price of under $20 at most stores and online retailers, Rebirth Of Dissection
is a fabulous value for what you receive, because the entire show is a perfect showcase of what Dissection can do. It is recorded and mixed very professionally and the replay value is nearly infinite. Either way, now that Dissection is gone, and no more new material will be released, this DVD is a great addition to the collection of anyone who calls themselves a Dissection fan.