Dimmu Borgir (/ˌdɪmuː ˈbɔːrɡɪər/) is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means “dark cities” or “dark castles/fortresses” in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The band has been through numerous lineup changes over the years; guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath are the only original members who still remain with guitarist Galder being a longstanding member.
The Unveiling—-The intro to this track is a huge mish-mash of confused Industrial sounds that quickly give way to the classic Dimmu sound that I require in my ears at least once a week. This opening track….at first listen was a throw a way…has become a rel favorite of mine. I love the varied yet predictable sound and the instantly recognizable voice of Shagrath. This has huge ebbs and flows…..I was not won over at first….but combined together…this is a required listen with the release as an entirety.
Interdimensional Summit—-From the very first three notes, you are assured of hat band you are listening to…there is no doubt. Shagrath sounds like he is driven by the music with his voice….the joined voices and the orchestration is like a huge movie for your ears. The surprise hear is the chorus…so addictive and accessible it might de-rail the Black Metal card for this band, This is epic…spectacular and addictive as hell…this will live in your brain for days to come.
Aethric—-Again, truly epic in sound…but more straight forward Metal than the previous two songs. There is a darkness around the edges of this song that I just love. The sound is so layered and huge I shake my head in amazement. The drums are incredible….the guitars are a wonderful wall of sound. Then the chorus smacks you in the face and becomes another instant favorite. This band has a recipe and it works every time for me….fuck the critics…I love the record!
Council Of Wolves And Snakes—-A bit sedate at the onset, the song becomes much more aggressive as it evolves. The sharp and fast guitar blasts are intense….the drums high and fast. Shagrath delivers a demonic vocal that wraps around your soul and turns your heart black. And then again….the chorus erupts and becomes another instant classic….I can’t understand the disdain for this band…maybe I’m an unintentional poser…lol.
The Empyrean Phoenix—-A slight folk feel to the intro to this song, the mayhem kicks in and becomes normal Dimmu after a few seconds. as usual….the drums are outstanding as Shagrath unleashes a hell storm of demonic vocals backed by a mysterious choir of Oh’s in the background….this is huge…epic in sound and a journey all of it’s own. This is a superb track.
Lightbringer—–Deep and dense…..full of layers right at the onset, this makes me feel comfortable and happy that after 8 long years my band has delivered an epic masterpiece. this is a slight mish mash of sounds….the bashing and crashing a bit monotonous after a bit…but the song finally opens up and ushers in a vocal that manages to keep perfect pace with the maddening drums. This is epic…a bit noisier than previous tracks…but fits in on the record rather well.
I Am Sovereign—-Huge layers of sound are piled on layers of sound…creating this dark and frozen landscape that is perfect for this band. The marching vocal and drums are like a prelude to war….the vocal comes at you in this wicked scream that twists your neck around in circles. This is stellar….a huge barrage of symphonic sound….gut vocals,,,and whispered incantations….brilliant!
Archaic Correspondence—-For me, this hearkens back to older days of the band. The drums are so fast and in your face….the guitars are a complete wall of sound….and Shagrath steps forward and is the steerer of the ship. This is epic in sound and construction…..and has a certain melody quality that will stay with you. I love this.
Alpha Aeon Omega—-Nothing spectacular here…all I can say is that the band as a whole, is truly consistent in sound and delivery….you know….at this point what to expect from the Norwegian Gods of Black Metal…this is spectacular…overblown….but accessible and catchy.
Rite Of Passage—-Rather sedate at the onset, this closing track takes a bit to get going but awakes in epic fashion with huge swells of orchestration and guitars. You can almost see the fog around the band as the song plays…it is that epic in sound. This instrumental leaves you with a hungry taste in your mouth….let’s hope it is not another 8 year wait!!!
***** out of 5