A couple of years ago I must have been one of the very few who missed the memo proclaiming "Death Cult Armageddon," at the time DIMMU BORGIR's newest release, as some kind of masterpiece. All I do know is that in the multiple times I've listened to the album I can't wait for it to end so I can put on something else. The Track "Cataclysm Children" is the only reason the album gets a score above 1.
The opening three tracks on the album are a crystal clear example for me of a band who has no clue what the hell they want or are doing as far as song structure goes. Sure, it's layered, but who cares about that when the components are so incongruent? I can never tell whether I'm listening to a Metal album or the new John Williams' score for a Spielberg movie for the first ten minutes or so of the record.
It's just not my thing, this whole Symphonic aspect in Black Metal. It smacks of little more than a feeble attempt to bolster a band who can't convey an epic sound on their own. DIMMU BORGIR probably can and appear to do that in parts of the album. But, as soon as the overbearing strings and wind instruments kick in, I check out and become bored to tears. I love Classical music, I just don't need it in my Metal when used so poorly. Some ambiance is fine; but to force it over the core of the music in a way that has me wondering if I'm listening to two different albums at once just turns me off.
Look, no question DIMMU BORGIR have chops and plenty of them. I just don't dig their overall production and song structure in any way. If I was listening to GORGOROTH and in the next room WAGNER started blaring over a lot of my music, I'd do something about it. When it comes to DIMMU BORGIR's "Death Cult Armageddon," I turn it off. (Online June 9, 2005)