Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dissection - The Grief Prophecy (1990)

The Grief Prophecy is the first demo release from Sweden's Dissection, being unleashed on the world in 1990. This brief tape was where it all began, so many years ago. The band would go on to become one of the most revered acts in Black Metal history, yet some might be surprised by the sound present on this demo.

It begins with "Intro/Severed Into Shreds". The opening riffs are very familiar, as they later appeared on The Somberlain as the beginning of "The Grief Prophecy/Shadows Over A Lost Kingdom". Whereas, on the album, this intro leads into cold and epic Black Metal, the transition is much different here. "Severed Into Shreds" features a thicker sound, including deeper vocals than most would expect from Dissection. The vocals were somewhat similar to what would be heard, a couple years later, on the first Amorphis album. Musically, it sounds a little like Treblinka and early Tiamat, not really possessing the Death Metal sound that was becoming popular in Stockholm. The song is very mid-paced, through a subdued thrash riff comes along, later on, followed by another tremolo riff.

The next song is "The Call of the Mist". This one begins with a slow and doom-ridden riff. It alternates between slow and fast riffs, sounding fairly similar to the song that preceded it, in sound and execution. There are some decent tremolo riffs to be found, but they're buried beneath the rest and never really expanded upon. It shows promise, but the true genius wouldn't be apparent until the following release.

"Consumed" is the final track, and it's probably the least impressive on this demo. It follows suit with the previous songs, but by this point one gets the feeling that they've already heard this. It's not bad but, as with the rest of the demo, this just isn't what most want to hear when they reach for a Dissection release. There are some nice riffs, later in the song, but they're stuck between more generic ones that may have been more interesting at the time, before a thousand other bands had come along with the same exact style.

The Grief Prophecy shows a band that was still finding themselves, in terms of sound and overall atmosphere. It was decent enough, but Into Infinite Obscurity would be the recording that really put Dissection on the map and displayed what they were capable of. Still, nothing could prepare people for the brilliance that was to come on The Somberlain.