Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dissection - Where Dead Angels Lie (1996)

Where Dead Angels Lie is a classic E.P. released in April 1996, by the mighty Dissection. This has to rank alongside Haunting the Chapel as my favorite E.P. ever. The search for this particular release took a little longer than I'd have wished, but it was well worth the wait.

It begins with a demo version of "Where Dead Angels Lie". Where this differs from the studio recording is that it is much more raw and features a slower pace than on Storm of the Light's Bane. In some way, this only adds to the ominous and eerie atmosphere. Instead of ice cold razors, slicing through your skin, it feels more like rusted hammers, crushing your bones. The vocals are a little different as well, being a bit more Hellish and raw, aat times. It is interesting to hear how the song sounded in an earlier form, and to then compare it to what was released later on. Often, demo versions aren't very good and are more of a curiosity than something to actually enjoy. That's not the case here. This is quite essential, in my view.

The next song is a cover of Tormentor's "Elisabeth Bathory". The band does an excellent job capturing the feeling from Anno Domini, and Jon even does a good job emulating Attila's vocal approach. As much as I love Tormentor, this cover equals the original, at the very least. The execution here is perfect in every way.

This is followed by my one of my favorite songs on this E.P., a cover of Slayer's "The Antichrist". One can truly feel the passion that went into this and assume that the band has an extreme fondness for old Slayer. Everything is crisp and pulled off very well. Being an old Slayer fanatic, I can't put this over the original, but it's one of the best Slayer covers I've ever heard. It's quite an interesting and enjoyable listen.

"Feathers Fell" is similar to the version found on The Somberlain, though this contains whispered vocals. It creates a calm effect, though I prefer it without any vocals of any kind.

"Son of the Mourning" is next, and is a re-recorded version of an older Dissection song, from the Into Infinite Obscurity E.P. The vocals are pure Hell and add a lot of intensity to the song. The production is vastly superior to the earlier recording, though still fairly raw. It is short and goes directly for the throat, not wasting time with anything else. Next to "The Antichrist", this is probably the best song on here...well, with the exception of the title track.

The final song on here is the L.P. version of "Where Dead Angels Lie". This brilliant song has already been covered in my review for Storm of the Light's Bane. A true classic and an excellent choice for the E.P.

Most of these songs are available on other releases, these days, but I recommend any true Dissection fan to seek this out anyway, as it deserves to be appreciated as a separate release. One of the best E.P.s ever.