Dissection

Reinkaos

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Reinkaos marks Dissection's return to activity following vocalist/guitarist Jon Nödtveidt's nearly decade-long incarceration for murder and, as if that wasn't cause enough for conscientious fans to feel ambivalent about its release, there's the usual trepidation that comes with any belated addition to an already respected body of work to be accounted for. Indeed, ask most any Dissection fan for his or her two cents, and the opinion would be put forth that the group's original classics -- 1993's The Somberlain and 1995's Storm of the Light's Bane -- certainly didn't need a sequel, but then, now that it's here, why get all worked up with the results? These generally comprise mid-paced, melodic death metal/black metal reminiscent of the band's mid-'90s origins and Swedish brethren like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, et al. (see "Starless Aeon" and "God of Forbidden Light" in particular), and therefore suggest that Nödtveidt was either isolated from or resistant to the countless stylistic advancements that occurred during his incarceration. Let this serve as your personal key, therefore, for either embracing or dismissing Reinkaos' built-in, inescapable sense of nostalgia. Introductory piece "Nexion 218" may sound like the name of a new brand of shampoo, but is in fact a magisterial instrumental setting up an entertaining array of hook-laden, crisply recorded, blast-from-the-past extreme metal anthems (highlights including "Beyond the Horizon," "Black Dragon," and "Infernal Fire"), whose only glaring weakness is, again, being so inherently dated. Forgive that issue for what it is and Reinkaos will make for a welcome return to one's youth (how long since you've heard a sub-minute acoustic interlude like "Chaosphobia" on a Scandinavian metal album...ok, not that long); after all, the likely alternative -- forced evolution -- could have proven even more traumatic.

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