"Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" has been the album that brought the breakthrough for DIMMU BORGIR on the one side and which got them branded by purists as "treason on Black Metal" or "Black Metal for girls" and almost anything short of the greenhouse-effect. Yet whilst listening to this album the question arises "why?", because if you look at the quality of the song-material, "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" without doubt is one of the absolute highlights of the genre.
But then again you have to see, what is enough for those purists to call a band "sold": the use of keyboards, to record an album that has a real production letting you hear each instrument, then released over a label and if that album sells more than five times worldwide, the world is lost already.
But anyway, for me "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" still is the best DIMMU BORGIR-album, closely followed by their latest effort, though. The opener "Mourning Palace" is already a classic, combining black-metallic ferocity with irresistible melodies and that all on a very high level, the use of the synths not taking away the heaviness, but rather adding another dimension.
DIMMU BORGIR prove to us with "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" that they are able to write very well structured and with all variety very flowing songs, something that many of their genre-colleagues so sorely lack. They merge heaviness and atmosphere, uncompromising tunes with melodies to a union instead of just meddling with them.
No matter if Blackish like with "Relinquishment Of Spirit And Flesh", "Tormentor Of Christian Souls" (where the extremes of heaviness and symphony are pushed farthest) and "Master Of Disharmony", or rather melody/atmosphere-oriented as in "In Death's Embrace", "The Night Masquerade" or "Entrance", which, if you left out the few double-bass-parts, could almost be called a Black Metal-ballad (at least in most places), the quality is there for sure.
But wait, there was something more... Right, my undisputed favourite track of DIMMU BORGIR (Yes, I herewith officially state that!): "A Succubus In Rapture"!
Without doubt the most bombastic piece that the (then) quintet ever has created, it starts out with atmospheric keyboards, soon to be accompanied by a slow-paced rhythm and almost epic guitars, together with Shagrath's usual harsh vocals. But also heavier passages are induced, driven with double-bass, yet never losing melody and atmosphere, a true masterpiece... This track alone is worth your money already!!!
Altogether a prime example for symphonic Black Metal, which is very well structured and varied, for fans of this sound (or those, who want to become some) an essential buy!