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Competent EP - 73%

OlympicSharpshooter, September 17th, 2004

Well, this EP isn't going to change your life, but it's certainly an added incentive to pick up the beautiful new Storm of the Light's Bane digipack, and these five songs pad out the relatively brief main course nicely. Of course, this EP was originally an independent release and thus is fair game for an individual review.

The EP consists of the final five tracks on the SotLB re-issue, and kicks off in fine style with the demo version of the classic "Where Dead Angels Lie". The eerily sweeping, traditional riff is the same, the rasped poetry identical, the whole thing pretty much the same save for a slight drop in production quality (the lead guitar is a little tough to hear) which should appease those who found the knob-job too clean for true integrity even if this thing is still fucking pristine compared to anything Darkthrone ever released. Also, the thing is around thirty seconds longer but I'll be damned if I couldn't tell without the track times in front of me. I think their might be a few more reps of the chorus (never a bad thing), but hell, your guess is as good as mine.

We follow up with a pair of covers. I've never heard the original "Elisabeth Bathory" but Dissection does a nice job with the source material. The interesting acoustics at the beginning of the track are grade A, but I couldn't help but laugh at Notveidt's heavily accented spoken intro. Sounds like a hack playing Dracula in a low-budget slasher picture. Furthermore, it's a little disjointing how sudden the transition from mellow acoustics to soaring electrics is. The song itself is class, particularly once it starts to pick up. There are a few riffs in the break that are a total "Battery" knock-off but what the hey, Tormentor copped from the best. I like the vocals here, the sinfully macabre themes playing right into Jon's black-nailed hands, lots of lusty whispers and rasped threats. Then out of nowhere, the five minute epic coughs up a mellow prog break, noodling about for a while before plunging back into the main riff. Excellent.

Next up, a total contrast as Dissection shreds through the ol' Slayer chestnut "Anti-Christ". Show No Mercy was hardly the best of that band, but it's exciting to hear such a brisk, uncomplicated head-bang after nearly an hour of grinding black metal. Jon gets a little tied up spitting out the lyrics on the first chorus, but they nail that classic labyrinthine thrash break. Makes you yearn for the days when Slayer played solos like that.

"Feathers Fell" is another moody piano intro. It's nice, but nothing mind-blowing. Again, a nice respite.

Closing the business is "Son of the Mourning", in point of fact more intense than the majority of SotLB, from what I've heard certainly a good fit on The Somberlain. It's a nice adrenalized slap in the face in point of fact, the heavy parts really heavy, the thrash intense, the melodic leads very nice. If this were on Storm, it'd be one of the best tracks. It manages to cram all the Dissection tricks into a compact package. So in other words, kick ass.

The original EP features the studio version of "Where Dead Angels Lie" here.

It's a good piece of work, no bad songs, but not many that I'm hugely in love with. If you like Dissection pick this up for sure, but this review score will remain good but not great because it isn't a classic and, sadly, because it's only an EP.

Stand-Outs: "Son of Mourning", "Elisabeth Bathori", "Where Dead Angels Lie (demo)"