What has not been said and written about DIMMU BORGIR that you have not heard and read countless times? I have no idea, so I will just shoot straight from the hip. The Norwegians are back with their seventh studio album and the question of most fans was, if they had gone even more over the top than they already had been on their previous outings. The band around Shagrath and Erkekjetter Silenoz has been one of the two most despised Black Metal bands amongst the purists, together with Brits CRADLE OF FILTH, yet it is undeniable that they have taken the nihilistic sound form to the next level.
“In Sorte Diaboli” continues one tradition for sure, the three-worded album title (only second effort “Stormblåst” does not follow this formula), which this time around even continues throughout all of the song titles. And it does not try to top off “Death Cult Armageddon” in all its symphonic glory, but actually seems to have re-captured at least a little of the spirit mentioned “Stormblåst” had emanated. Obviously DIMMU BORGIR did not abandon their sound, as the bombastic intro of opener “The Serpentine Offering” shows, before we get treated to one hell of an opener, which adds some older Black Metal riffing to the mix as well as brilliant clear vocals by ICS Vortex, almost sounding like a choir, this is some good stuff!
Unless…well, unless you despise anything melodic or bombastic as treason or whatever else like that, in that case I wonder why you are reading this to begin with… Anyways, back to our regular programming. “The Chosen Legacy” packs quite a double-bass driven punch with some classical touches, while “The Sacrilegious Scorn” delivers a lot of variety, once more showcasing the exceptional vocal talents of ICS Vortex. One song I should still mention for something unusual, which is “The Invaluable Darkness”. Despite its dark title, the opening riff is almost happy, leading into another intense, variable song, once more elevated by the clear vocals, love it or hate it.
I don’t think that I will have to lose many words about the production, which once more is stellar, a strong effort, no doubt, even though “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” is unreached still…
(Online July 8, 2007)