Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dissection - Live in Stockholm 2004 (2009)

Live in Stockholm is the official CD release of the audio from the 30 October 2004 Dissection concert that took place at Arenan. Early versions of the Rebirth of Dissection DVD came with a CD as well, but since then it's been bootlegged numerous times. This may have been Escapi's attempt at getting some profit out of this, as the release is rather minimalist and appears that little effort went into it. It seems a bit odd that the DVD was released in 2006, yet this wasn't available until September 2009. Like many others, I had hoped that the next Dissection release would be another DVD; maybe something featuring a live performance from the final tour, including new songs among the old. Regardless of that, I was very pleased to see that this had finally seen some sort of official release.

So, first the negative aspects of this shall be addressed. The packaging leaves a lot to be desired. The 'booklet' simply opens up to reveal a few photos and nothing more. Only three of the members are pictures, as Tomas Asklund is nowhere to be seen. On the inside, as well as on the back of the CD, the track listing omits "Heaven's Damnation", which is track 9. Due to the time constraints, some of the songs from the performance were cut. "Maha Kali" and the Tormentor cover, "Elizabeth Bathory" both got axed. Strangely, these were not the only ones left out. "At the Fathomless Depths", despite being listed, isn't actually here; only the final seconds. Similarly, "No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep" was removed as well. The strange thing about this is that the CD is about 74 minutes long, meaning that both of these would have fit. So, there's no real explanation as to why they were left off. Speaking of the intro, it's listed as track 1, but that track is actually the first half of "Night's Blood". For whatever reason, this song is split onto two different tracks. Track 2 begins with the acoustic section of "Night's Blood". At any rate, this isn't a big deal, really, since most people will listen to something like this as a whole album, instead of going for certain songs. However, it does add to the unprofessional feeling of the release. It doesn't appear that any of the remaining band members had anything to do with this.

Despite these minor issues, this is a must have for any Dissection fan. This live performance is very intense and passionate, capturing the raw essence of what this band was all about. There's a magical feeling that can't be properly articulated with such feeble words; however, it's something that can be felt. Obviously, the Rebirth of Dissection DVD is the recommended method by which to relive this special night, but Live in Stockholm 2004 is the perfect companion piece, as it allows you to listen to this brilliant live show at your convenience. A couple years back, I actually considered trying to set up a tape recorder to capture these sounds, as I wished to be able to listen to this in my car, etc. I'm not usually so fond of live recordings, but Dissection was a very special band and that really came through during their shows. Much like Live Legacy, you can really tell that this isn't a band that simply goes through the motions when on stage; the songs come alive and take on added dimensions, in this setting.

The sound quality is top-notch, and the energy and passion of the band, as well as the interaction with the crowd, comes through as well here as on the DVD. After so many years away from the Metal scene, Jon Nödtveidt had returned in a blaze of hellfire. He'd assembled musicians to serve as his tools, to convey the message and the dark magic that he set out to conjure, and you can really feel the intensity in his performance. Regardless of the cheap packaging or the errors, the end result is yet another fitting tribute to the legacy of the mighty Dissection. This album captures an incredible live show and is especially desirable for anyone as obsessed with the DVD version as I am. Buy this!