Review Summary: Ours is the fury.
1995 was one hell of a year for the Swedish metal scene. You had both Dark Tranquillity’s The Gallery
and At The Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul
in quick succession of one another, along with In Flames’ The Jester Race
being released early on in the following year. While the predominant trend amongst the Swedes was melodic death metal, there was also a minority of bands that dabbled in the black metal stylings of their Norwegian rivals. They weren’t just a bunch of Darkthrone or Emperor knockoffs, though. These bands were able to infuse the melodic elements of their peers with the dissonant, eerie sounds of Norwegian black metal bands. Ultimately, no one was able to pull this off better than Dissection on their sophomore album, Storm of the Light’s Bane
Clocking in at just over an hour in length, Storm of the Light’s Bane
kicks off with “At The Fathomless Depths”. The eerie, forlorn dual guitars and ominous thundering in the background do a fantastic job of setting the tone for the album, and the seamless transition into “Night’s Blood” is certainly a plus. The production has a hazy, distant feel to it, which blends in perfectly alongside the tenebrous tone of tracks such as “Unhallowed”. Jon Nodveidt’s guitarwork stands out above all else, combining the chaos and discordant time signatures of traditional black metal alongside more cohesive, streamlined riffs reflecting the more melodic influences of the band. Ole Ohman’s drumming also fits in well, with rapid-fire blast beats creating a solid contrast to the more reserved drum patterns in songs such as “Thorns of Crimson Death”. Speaking of which, the bleak acoustic intros on the aforementioned track and “Where Dead Angels Lie” add in a bit of a dissonant serenity to the music, which is vital in an album that focuses so much on atmospheric elements.
Perhaps the strongest aspect of Storm of the Light’s Bane
is just how malevolent and downright evil
the entire experience really is. Not in a wild, feral sort of way, but not in a necessarily brooding, subdued manner either. Nodveidt’s vocals are a fantastic example of such. His constant, sorrowful rasp is chilling to the core, both subtly and with a touch of mayhem.
Storm of the Light’s Bane
strives mainly for balance, and manages to easily succeed in this goal due to the sheer amount of attention to detail. The meticulous structure of each song gives the album a refined and almost polished feel, even with the fuzzy production values. While it’s a damn shame that Dissection weren’t able to create more material in their time together, Storm of the Light’s Bane
will forever be the legacy that Nodveidt and company leave behind.