Darkness Shall Rise, (ed.)-I Am The Great Shadow (Book Review)

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Reviewed: March, 2022
Published: Darkness Shall Rise, 2021
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP

I’m not sure why but in the history of rock and roll there seems to be a mystique about a band that break up at their prime. This is phenomena is even more compounded when a key-member dies. I think it is safe to say that most rock bands (I’m using the term very broadly) are founded by younger people. When young people die it is not usually by heart-attack, lung-cancer or various ailment associated with aging. It is usually tragic; death by misadventure, overdose, a tragic accident or even suicide. Rock historians can list any number of such artists who are taken from us at an early age. When you have a confluence of all these situations, a famous young rock star bands it amplifies the bands mystique. I believe this scenario applies perfectly to Dissection.

The respect and admiration surrounding Dissection remains to this day, all these years later. The good people at Darkness Shall Rise saw fit to pay tribute to the band by releasing what is, in my opinion, one of the coolest looking box-sets in recent memory. Full disclosure I do not own a copy but it looks amazing. It is called I AM THE GREAT SHADOW and it is packed with memorabilia and rarities, it is a fine tribute to Dissection. One of those items in the box-set is a book of the same name.

I consider myself very fortunate that DSR had a spare copy of the book for me to enjoy and review. Word on the streets is that there might be a few extra copies of the books that might be sold apart from the box-set. Keep checking the DSR website in the meantime.

I AM THE GREAT SHADOW is a gorgeous presentation. The creator refers to it somewhat modestly as a ‘booklet’ with just a few pictures. It is far more than that! This hard cover book is a couple hundred pages long with a gold embossed cover. The overall quality is very high. High gloss pages with bold colour make this a real collectors item for your library.

While it is true there is not very much text, I think that fits well into the idea of a tribute to the band. They always struck me as somewhat reclusive and unconcerned with media hype. Accordingly, the book is a visual history. We get some scattered quotes and a few pictures of flyers, tickets, demos, clippings, reviews and more. Moving through time from the era when they were known as Satanized we follow through a series of candid and casual shots the evolution of the band. Many of these are black and white photos.

Many of the photos within are live concert phots dating back to the early/mid-90’s. At least half of the book is dedicated to extensive photo galleries of the rebirth of Dissection shows. We are treated to live shots from the Reinkaos era and tour of Greece, Poland, Mexico, Australia, Hungary, Germany and of course Sweden. The bands last ever show at the Midsummer Massacre in Sweden is heavily documented and the formal announcement declaring the end of the band is reproduced as well.

Regarding my opening comments about the aura or mystique of a band that leaves the game early, we are left to wonder what might have been but remain content in the fact that the band went out on a high note on their own terms. I AM THE GREAT SHADOW is a fitting tribute to Jon Nodtveidt and Dissection.