Many friends of extreme Metal most likely have waited for this album. Either to celebrate the Norwegians or to send hate-tirades towards the north for alleged high-treason. As the "Enthroned Darkness Triumphant"-follow-up "Spiritual Black Dimensions" had not met the expectations, many will view the newest output rather warily and I also admit that I didn't go at it with too high expectations. But after having heard the first three songs, I can only sit and listen in awe.
The opener "Blessings Upon The Throne Of Tyranny" has all guns blazing, great traditional riffs, an awesome drum-work and masterly evil vocals make this song the first highlight of this CD. What becomes apparent is that the DIMMUs have turned a bit more complex, each song excels in many different leads, tempo-changes and twists and turns. This continues through almost all songs and you need a few rotations to get into it, but then you will be awarded with an exciting symphony of death. No matter which song you pick out, each one sounds very well structured and all.
The production also is truly mighty, but not courtesy of Abyss, but Fredman. The precise lead-drumming of Nick Barker (ex-CRADLE OF FILTH) is just phenomenal and the other newbie Galder (OLD MAN'S CHILD) on the six-string is doing a solid job. The clean vocal-lones of Simen (Ex-BORGNAGAR) are not used as excessively anymore, but more effectively and the new keyboarder Mystis also fits in very well, whereas many synth-parts this time have been played by a real string-orchestra. You see that DIMMU BORGIR have taken a step forward to really create a stir.
And in the great, monumental mid-tempo-parts the northmen are second to none. I don't want to pick out any particular songs, there are no fillers, just killers on this album. He announced TWISTED SISTER-cover-version "Burn In Hell" can be found as a hidden-track and is not soooo far away from the original and a great cover-tune!
As long as bands like DIMMU BORGIR still manage to release masterpieces like this one, I don't care how many envious people try to pick at them. With a killer-album like this one they deserve all the success they can achieve. All the copycats can start to rehearse again...