Saturday, May 05, 2007

Review: Dimmu Borgir - “In Sorte Diaboli”

It’s hard to make a concept album, because the end result has to be a whole, complete, cohesive album instead of a mere collection of songs. Most people have an album or two in their collection that’s a must have album, an album that is the audio equivalent of a great movie, an album that’s best played as a whole.

“In Sorte Diaboli” opens with “The Serpentine Offering”, a song that begins with an orchestral opening just before getting the album into the midst of the action, mostly with quick/mid-paced songs on the first half of the album. A slow brooding instrumental song “The Fallen Arises” serves as an interlude/intermission in the middle of the album, then re-opens the engagement with a fast song, “The Heretic Hammer”. The second half of the album is very climactic, with the speed in portions of “The Fundamental Alienation”, and the intensity of “The Invaluable Darkness”, before slowing with the closer “The Foreshadowing Furnace”. As you can see, the guys in Dimmu Borgir have put some effort forth in make the arrangements work with peaks and valleys.

Everything is in high polish splendour, in which Dimmu Borgir romanticises the notion of black metal. The cold stark guitar tones, raspy vocals and blast beats keep Dimmu Borgir in line with the origins of black metal. The very well synthesised orchestral arrangements are of movie quality, which helps to add to the epic feel. The operatic vocals from bass player ICS Vortex are utilized more often than on previous Dimmu Borgir releases, and for the most part meld seamlessly into the music (with the exception of the operatic vocals on “The Serpentine Offering”, which seem to come out of nowhere).

Comparing “In Sorte Diaboli” to previous Dimmu Borgir works is where the problem arises. While they’ve put effort forth on a concept for the album, and the arrangements, they come off as an experienced band playing what works instead of pushing any sort of envelope. Sonically, there’s really no difference between “In Sorte Diaboli” and the previous album “Death Cult Armegeddon”.

I’ve never had a situation arise where an album has been pulled together as a whole so well, yet didn’t push any creative boundaries to put itself ahead of the pack. It’s true, many would say that Dimmu Borgir were already at the top of their game before “In Sorte Diaboli”, but this time around it’s themselves they need to best.


Dimmu Borgir
Dimmu Borgir At MySpace
Dimmu Borgir At Nuclear Blast



Blogger dschalek said...

Los Angeles Dimmu Borgir clone Sothis seems to definitely be falling into the category of not doing too well. I recently saw them open up for 1349 late last year and they were not impressive. In addition, they seem to be taking their sweet time in releasing a debut full-length.

4:23 p.m.  

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