DISSECTION — The Somberlain

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DISSECTION - The Somberlain cover
4.22 | 40 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1993

Tracklist

1. Black Horizons (8:12)
2. The Somberlain (7:07)
3. Crimson Towers (0:50)
4. A Land Forlorn (6:40)
5. Heaven's Damnation (4:42)
6. Frozen (3:47)
7. Into Infinite Obscurity (1:05)
8. In the Cold Winds of Nowhere (4:22)
9. The Grief Prophecy / Shadows Over a Lost Kingdom (3:31)
10. Mistress of the Bleeding Sorrow (4:36)
11. Feathers Fell (0:41)

Total Time: 45:38

Line-up/Musicians

- Jon Nödtveidt / Guitars (lead), Vocals, Lyrics
- John Zwetsloot / Guitars (rhythm), Guitars (acoustic)
- Peter Palmdahl / Bass
- Ole Öhman / Drums

Guest/Session:
- Dan Swanö / Scream (on "Black Horizons")

About this release

No Fashion Records, December 3rd, 1993

Miscellaneous staff:
- Necrolord / Cover art
- Dan Swanö / Engineering

NFR 006

Recorded between March the 1st and 6th 1993 at Hellspawn / Unisound Studio.

The Japanese release has the bonus track "Son Of The Mourning".

Reissued by Nuclear Blast in 1997 and again by Black Lodge Records in 2004. In 2005, Black Lodge released a limited wooden box (666 copies) including the CD, a t-shirt and a sticker.

Re-released on 2xCD and 2xLP in June 2006 by Black Horizon, The End Records & Norma Evangelium Diaboli.

CD2: BONUS DISC
UNRELEASED LIVE RECORDING '95
01. Frozen (3:27)
02. The Somberlain (7:27)
INTO INFINITE OBSCURITY 7" EP 1991
(Remastered Original Mix)
03. Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom (2:50)
04. Son of the Mourning (3:24)
05. Into Infinite Obscurity (1:05)
DEMO 1992 (Remastered Original Mix)
06. Frozen (3:28)
07. In the Cold Winds of Nowhere (4:00)
08. Feathers Fell (0:53)
09. Mistress of the Bleeding Sorrow (4:18)
THE GRIEF PROPHECY DEMO 1990
(Remastered Original Mix)
10. The Call of the Mist (3:59)
REMASTERED REHEARSAL 1990
11. Severed Into Shreds (4:27)
SATANIZED (Remastered Rehearsal 1991)
12. Satanized (2:53)
13. Born In Fire (2:39)

The introduction to Black Horizon starts with a phrase being played backwards, that phrase is 'Frost is spreading across the plain to welcome the eternal night'. This phrase is later used as a lyric on their song 'Where Dead Angels Lie', on their next album, Storm of the Light's Bane.

Thanks to bonnek, UMUR for the updates

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DISSECTION THE SOMBERLAIN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"The Somberlain" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish black/death metal act Dissection. The album was released through No Fashion Records in December 1993. Along with acts like Unanimated and Necrophobic, Dissection are widely considered among the most prolific Swedish blackened death metal/melodic black metal acts from the 90s.

The music on the album treads the fine line between melodic black metal and blackened death metal. The vocals are mostly raspy and belong in black metal territory, while the riffing style is a bit of both worlds with both fast tremolo picking and more brutal riff based sections. Always layered with ultra melodic lead guitar work though. Often with folk influenced themes. Occasional use of keyboards help bring an epic atmosphere to the album and the classical inspired acoustic guitar interludes that appear a couple of times on the album, work well as breathers. The album is drenched in a melancholic atmosphere, but still quite aggressive and raw.

The musicianship are generally on a high level, although drummer Ole Öhman at times has a clumsy playing style that could have been a bit more imaginative. The classical acoustic guitar interludes played by John Zwetsloot also feature a couple of playing errors, but it´s not a major deal, and the rest of the music is very well played.

The sound production is powerful and suits the music well. Again it´s a feature on the album that sits in the borderland between black and death metal. Too high end sounding to be a "regular" death metal production from those days, and too "low end" to sound like a contemporary black metal release. No matter how you describe it, it´s a suiting production for the music, and that´s what probably matters to most people.

"The Somberlain" is overall a high quality debut release by Dissection, and right off the bat, they spearheaded the Swedish melodic black/blackened death metal scene. While the other artists I mentioned above are also quite prolific in their own right, Dissection has a cult following that those two and other similar size acts can only dream of, and it´s obvious to hear why when you listen to "The Somberlain". It´s simply more convincing on all parameters than most other contemporary releases in the same style and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Warthur
Alongside the early Darkthrone releases, Dissection's The Somberlain is one of the earliest albums to combine the misanthropic assault and atmosphere of the second wave of black metal with the technical pyrotechnics often associated with death metal. With brilliant performances and impeccable production, it was one of the albums which proved that, despite the sneering of critics, black metal wasn't just about people who could barely play their instruments recording their music with a gratingly lo-fi approach (not that there's anything wrong with that). And even better, it still sounds as fresh and transgressive today as it did then - perhaps more so, knowing the future antics some of the band members would get up to.

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