Symphonic Black Metal, News,Single, 2018, Norway,Nuclear Blast,Dimmu Borgir

Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Country: Norway
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Yeat: 2018

If I would take Andreas Stasinopoulos’ review on “Spiritual Black Dimensions”… back in 1999 from the then printed Metal Invader and change the song titles, I think I would have an excellent review-presentation and nobody would take notice. The same issues were occupying the black metal community back then… Borgir’s sell out, the polished sound, the black elements that were leaving their place to more melodic riffs and the evergrowing symphonic parts that nowadays are dominant in Dimmu Borgir’s sound. Of course, we don’t have to do with a misplaced sequel of “Spiritual…” but everything seems changed to remain the same… Yes, the Norwegians for some centuries now do not address to the orthodox black metallers, but there is no doubt they are a commercial and important band of the extreme sound and a lot of people are into it. The a la Ghost intro of “Council Of Wolves And Snakes” (second single from the new album, if I remember well) showed another aspect of experimentation from the band which was embraced by the public, despite the initial first divided opinions that were recorded in the social media. After some spins of the album, the first single “Interdimensional Summit” (with that Nightwish intro) seems its weakest moment, which doesn’t lack multi-layered references and diverse influences, but mostly diverse elements. It’s not bad, it’s just indifferent. In a spectrum that covers folk, classic heavy, black and gothic, even ecclesiastical choir vocals that brought Enigma to mind, the band is showing an ambitious attempt that flirts with the theatrical, commercial, experimental and (for some) glorious past (“Puritanic Euphoric Misanthropia”, “Abrahadabra” and the live recording with Oslo’s symphonic orchestra), but with the idea that the creation of a majestic atmosphere is the aim itself. The production is too clear, Shagrath’s vocals are still the trademark of the band, present and important, the once impressive drumming is buried and guitars maybe should have been a bit more to the front. For sure it is entertaining (almost a guilty pleasure) for its kind (and what would that be?), for sure worth checking out, but let’s talk honestly, 8 years of absence are way too many and demand something more. Check out ‘Alpha Aeon Omega’ and ‘Ætheric.’