Dissection - Reinkaos - Black Horizon Music / The End Records 2006
Running Time: 43:04
Eleven years after the instant classic sophomore album by Dissection ushered in a new ice age, founder and lone original member, John Nodtveidt returns with the self-proclaimed "work of Sonic Black Magic", Reinkaos. Alot has changed in the metal as a whole since Storm Of The Light's Bane, and apparently that transformation has not gone unheeded by Nodtveidt. Where Storm... was a sweeping, panoramic symphony of blast and Baal-worship, Reinkaos shows a more mature (read: less blistering) Dissection that is sure to alienate its share of diehards within even the first minutes of playing time.
Still, one can't really compare the Dissection of over a decade ago to that of 2006 - at least not legitimately. It's a different band altogether, and though some will take extreme issue with Nodtveidt's use of one of extreme metal's most revered names for this anti-reunion album, the fact remains that it is his name to use, and - like it or not - I don't think he really gives a fuck for popular opinion in the first place. After "Nexion 218"'s abbreviated instrumental intro, "Beyond The Horizon" is what would happen if Haven-era Dark Tranquillity covered early Therion. Nodtveidt's delivery is more clipped and understandable than on albums past, and the mid-tempo riff at around the three-and-a- half-minute mark will leave as many heads shaking as it will horns thrust into the black sky. Clearly, this is not the Dissection of old, but again, I'm not sure it's supposed to be. Leadoff single "Starless Aeon" follows, employing a groove that would be just as at home on The Black League's underrated Ichor as it is here. Nodtveidt has totally reconfigured Dissection with Reinkaos, and though the album is sure to appeal to the younger, metallically spoonfed generation, longtime fans would do well to look past the more melodic material, finding the sable majesty herein. "Black Dragon" namedrops Leviathan, Tiamat, and a host of other gods, as if taking attendance at some ancient diety convention, but musically, is one of Reinkaos' strongest tracks. If black metal were allowed power ballads or love songs, "Dark Mother Divine" would fill that role easily. There's a subtle nod to Tiamat's recent return to realms of metal in "Dark Mother Divine", and it's really the first time on the album that the drummer noticeably employs the double kick for anything more than convenience's sake. If the elder fans made it this deep into Reinkaos, "Xeper-I-Set" will bring back memories of Dissection's past moreso than anything found on the album thus far. Twisted fingers trace nimble scales, mingling with frantic rhythms and time-changes aplenty, and abruptly fading into the seconds-long segue of "Chaosophia". "God Of Forbidden Light" falters, nearly stumbling over itself, and certainly never getting off the ground. Chorus vocals help things along a bit from time to time, but for the most part, "God Of Forbidden Light" will either inspire a self-conscious twinge of regret at the route taken by Dissection or won't even register on the listener's radar at all. The expansive, passionate instrumentality of the title track finds tasteful dual leads borne aloft by and undulating rhythm section, preparing for the smoldering execution of "Internal Fire". Ending with yet another paean to a female diety, this time in the form of mother/goddess of annihilation hybrid, Kali. Returning female vocalist Nyx 218's occasional contributions to "Maha Kali" will likely instill fear in the hearts of those unfamiliar with her appearance on 2004's EP of the same name. Still, as it stands, "Maha Kali" is the perfect endpiece for Reinkaos, Nodtveidt hitting his stride both lyrically and musically.
If Dissection is ever going to "break through" to the new breed of metal fan, Reinkaos is the album that will do it. For a lot of us, who've spent the last decade alternately salivating for new material from Dissection, or comparing every black metal album released to The Somberlain or Storm Of The Light's Bane, wholehearted acceptance of Dissection 2006 will not be instantaneous. However, for those patient enough to really listen, or for those not so shackled to the past, the music of Reinkaos will slowly latch onto the memory, inviting multiple listens and appreciation. As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.