Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dissection - Night's Blood (1994)

From the band's earliest days, Dissection was known as being quite the force to be reckoned with, as it related live performances. This is but one of the many reasons that they managed to build such a strong following, over the years. While a lot of bands avoided playing live at all costs, this is where Dissection truly thrived and they did an excellent job of bringing their songs to life. The Night's Blood bootleg features a live show from 4 May 1994, just some months after the release of the band's debut L.P. This recording was taken from a four-day Black Metal festival, in Oslo, Norway, that also included the first live gig of Gorgoroth. Released on vinyl by Headache Records, Night's Blood serves as one more piece of Dissection's legendary existence.

Regarding the performance, itself, the band executes every song with precision and accuracy. Naturally, the bulk of the material comes from The Somberlain, though they also play an instrumental version of "Where Dead Angels Lie", which seems to have already been fully developed, musically. For the most part, the songs are the same as the studio versions, though often at a faster pace. Songs like "Frozen" and "Heaven's Damnation" are sped up quite a bit, as if the band was feeling much too energetic. This happens in a few other places, such as the middle of "In the Cold Winds of Nowhere", as the level of intensity increases. Thankfully, "The Somberlain" is more faithful to the original, as speeding it up unnecessarily would have ruined the atmosphere, in this case. It is too bad that they did not choose to play "Black Horizons", as well, a song that frequently appeared to be ignored when playing live.

The sound quality is pretty rotten, with an ever-present hissing that is similar to some of the old Moonblood rehearsals. If you can manage to tune that out and turn the volume all the way up, it is not too difficult to hear everything that is going on and to enjoy it. Because of the unprofessional recording, there are times when things seem to run together and moments where the drumming (and even the bass) crush the main guitar riffs into oblivion and those less familiar with the songs might lose track of what is going on. For those that appreciate shoddy production, this is for you, as it is the most necro that Dissection has ever sounded.

Night's Blood is not essential, but is certainly something that hardcore Dissection fans should seek out, in one form or another. This bootleg has its problems, with the hissing and the occasional drops in sound, yet it sort of adds to the charm. It does not come close to the quality heard on Live Legacy, for example, but it still worth hearing, nonetheless. The vinyl may be hard to come by, but it has been bootlegged by various labels, on CD.