Dissection - _Reinkaos_
(Black Horizon Records, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (6 out of 10)
It's almost impossible for any Dissection fan not to be in two minds about _Reinkaos_. One hand there's the question over whether or not Jon Nödtveidt should have risked sullying Dissection's impressive reputation with another record altogether. It's been eleven years after all, and with a legacy that includes two classics as influential and timeless as _The Somberlain_ and _Storm of the Light's Bane_, most anyone would have a hard time living up to the bluster. There's also the question of whether Dissection was indeed ready to do another album, and not simply pressured by the expectation of delivering a comeback. It may have been some time since Nödtveidt's release from prison, but inspiration doesn't always come at the snap of one's fingers.

Sadly, the third real Dissection release does little to provide definitive answers to either of these questions. The furore surrounding it -- not least of all the hype trumped up by Nödtveidt himself -- may be virtually off the page, but the reality is that by comparison this is undoubtedly the weakest of the band's three full-lengths. The absorbing technicality is still ever-present, and the Deathstars' Nightmare Industries does a fantastic job of engineering a crisp, imposing sound; but the trouble is that for all of Nödtveidt's pseudo-Satanic posturing, among which labelling the new material "Anti-Cosmic Metal of Death" must rank among the most asinine, everything on _Reinkaos_ sounds remarkable ordinary. In fact, those who don't know any better wouldn't be held to ridicule if they mistook the majority of songs on here as early In Flames.

That said, the material isn't quite as far removed from the rest of the Dissection back catalogue as the 2004 _Maha Kali_ EP would have suggested. "Beyond the Horizon" delivers a thunderous start to the album, and while its chorus may reek a little too much of Nödtveidt courting the idea of a black metal sing-along, it remains satisfyingly atmospheric and aggressive. "Starless Aeon" drops the pace down by a gear or two, putting paid to the distinct Gothenburg comparisons for the first time. These dissimilarities enter, and remain embedded in the equation to an even greater extent on "Black Dragon", a track that starts off with an acoustic piece that could just as easily have been culled from _The Red in the Sky Is Ours_.

It's herein that _Reinkaos_ experiences its greatest downfall. On its own merits, it's a solid effort, well-crafted and above-average in every sense. Had this been released eight years ago, it might even have passed for a bold step forward for the band. Now it's simply one of countless similar albums being thrust upon the world on a monthly basis -- and that is unfortunately the last category that Dissection should have been placed in this time around.

Contact: http://www.dissection.nu

(article published 15/5/2006)

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