Dissection - The Somberlain

Production: Clear, slightly muddied but irrelevant as it brings twists to melodic timbre.

Review: A death metal band playing heavy metal in the hazy aura of black metal technique, creates an interesting and very listenable allow that despite lacking the flow and inscrutability of hardcore black metal creates an atmosphere specific to the genre. An influence from Necrophobic, perhaps in the sweeping riffs which move from broad intervals through a melodic bridge to binary variation, and songs which move from there into permutations of central riffs while keeping an ear for melody and the harmonic sublime.

Similar to bands such as At the Gates or Sentenced Dissection integrate heavy metal melodic playing with smooth and lengthy black metal riffs, allowing harmonic space to be saturated by osmosis in preparation for thematic narrative and conclusion. Sonorous and often gentle, this album embraces a different aesthetic from black metal in its wavelike complement and recursion, with an emphasis on motion and structure in a style consistent from speed metal through the renaissance of death metal.

Instrumentalism is highly competent and creativity abounds in riffs that achieve a level above the usual death metal riffs which follow a up/down up/down pattern of motion, variation, and then resolve. Arching melodic structures complement this sense in arrangement, allowing rhythm and tone to mesh like an engaging gear. Like most black metal this music transcends noise for beauty and then surmounts that, leaving a lasting impression of a dark, abstracted, chilling intake of life with the stranded emotion of a bruised soul.


1. Black Horizons (8:10)
2. The Somberlain (7:04) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
3. Crimson Towers (:47)
4. A Land Forlorn (6:38)
5. Heaven's Damnation (4:43)
6. Frozen (3:45) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
7. Into Infinite Obscurity (1:04)
8. In the Cold Winds of Nowhere (4:19)
9. The Grief Prophecy/Shadows over A Lost Kingdom (3:10)
10. Mistress Of The Bleeding Sorrow (4:33) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
11. Feathers Fell (:43)

Length: 45:40

Dissection - The Somberlain: Black Metal 1994 Dissection

Copyright © 1994 No Fashion

Highlights are in the incisive motion these patterns have, and the conventional but evocatively human percussion. Parts become too conventional rock-n-roll, but at odd times, without being disturbingly obvious, and without being half-hearted thrusts at some rock glory thrown into otherwise decent metal. Incongruous though it seems, the touches of rock tactics that glaze this sound are less of a barrier than some fundamentally basic assumptions in tone and rhythm which isolate this album from entry to the black metal canon.

While this release is well executed within the defined parameters of its style, it creates atmosphere but falls short of finding a synthesis of feeling and action as underground black metal in its inventive era did. As beautiful and artistic music that bridges a few genres in its attempts to create a form powerful enough for its peregrinations, this music is strength emerging from listenable yet emotionally referential songwriting.