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You Will Never Rule Again - 89%

LickMyOrangeBallsHalfling, May 27th, 2019

Far from the relatively polished, graceful band that they would soon become, "Into Infinite Obscurity" presents Dissection at their rawest. It's definitely evident that this is a recording made by a young, hungry band that wanted to come out of the gates swinging. Fortunately for both the band and the listeners, they did just that.

The recording quality is pretty raw. The guitars have a fuzzy, chainsaw tone to them, which actually works pretty well. There's also a lot more of a death metal influence in these songs, particularly "Son Of The Mourning." It sounds more like Entombed than any black metal band, there's even some d-beats thrown in. Nodtveidt's vocals are a bit rougher and lower pitched than on later recordings, and the guitar riffs are generally chunkier and death-ier, for lack of a better word. I actually prefer this version of "Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom" to the version on "The Somberlain," it omits part of the long intro, and the raw production suits it quite well. This is one of my favorite songs the band ever made, and the early version is superb, with Nodtveidt delivering a powerful vocal performance overtop some of his best riffs.

But even with all the rawness, it's still unmistakably Dissection. Nodtveidt's jagged yet elegant melodies permeate the songs, and it's this sense of melody that separates it from other black metal bands of the time, not to mention the death metal groups whose influence is shining through. Above all, it's downright catchy and fun, as is usually the case with Dissection.

The band gives us a preview of what to expect in the future with the short acoustic instrumental "Into Infinite Obscurity," foreshadowing their proclivity for classical guitar sections, and ending the EP on a solemn note. It's not a very interesting track, truth be told, but it's nice to have a bit of respite after the previous 2 songs.

If you're interested in seeing the roots of Dissection, when they were starting to find their sound, be sure to check this EP out. It's worth your time to see early versions of these songs, which hold up great in their own right.