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Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra

WREN   (346 reviews)

Posted: 10/04/2010 | Comments: 7 | Rate:

After being in production for a lengthy 11 months, Dimmu Borgir brings forth their 9th studio album entitled, Abrahadabra. Working extensively with both the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum Choir, the album features over 100 musicians and singers; making for Dimmu’s most epic outing to date.

Ever since the release of their breakout album, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, Dimmu Borgir has taken their roots from the Black Metal genre and has built upon them remarkably. Imploring more and more symphonic elements to build upon the foundation that the more traditional instruments laid down, Dimmu Borgir has practically evolved into a sound that is all their own. As if to show the world that they were not satisfied with the amazing performance on Puritanical, the band released the monumentally epic Death Cult Armageddon. The perfect blend of epic symphony parts, black metal, and more of your standard thrash and traditional heavy metal, the band captured the masses and peaked with their song Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse was popping up every from the Hellboy II soundtrack to video game, Brutal Legend.

In 2007, the band released their next original album In Sorte Diaboli (in 2005 they re-recorded an earlier album, Stormblast). This continued the work of the last two records but showed the level of lyrical depth as the band was able to turn this record into a concept album about a Priest’s assistant that has a “great awakening” after discovering the dark side. In my opinion, this showed that the band was beginning to hit their peak. Everything seemed to flow together perfectly for this album. The music was providing the perfect outlet for the story within.

Now onto Abrahadabra. Once again Dimmu Borgir seems to outdo themselves on a sheer talent level. When In Sorte Diaboli came out, I didn’t think it would be possible on a pure complexity level that the band was going to be able to top. After the departures or firing (depending on who you ask) of ICS Vortex and Mustis, founding members Shagrath and Silenoz, as well as long time lead guitarist Galder, sought out the employment of both a full orchestra and a full choir. To make up for the traditional instruments that were missing, the band found very talented session musicians to help complete the work.

The end result is nothing short of monstrous. The 11 months it took to write this record really shows as the level of songwriting is incredible. I don’t know if the band sat down and wrote all the songs with the orchestra and choir but it sure as hell sounds like it. Both elements come together like a match made in Hell and makes for songs that would have fit right at home as the backpiece of the epic night battle in Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. The riffs and melodies are infectious and I have been finding myself humming them sporadically throughout the day, every day since I’ve received the album.

With all the great praise I have to give this album, this isn’t going to win over any new fans. The metal elite will always hate Dimmu Borgir for surpassing the rest of the Black Metal world by light years. The band has found their signature sound and continues to build on it with each outing. If you weren’t a fan for the last few albums, you won’t like this one much more. However, if you are a fan of the band, you are in for a real treat. They have successfully pulled elements from all of the past few records and laced them throughout the record almost too well. With their storytelling and image getting more and more epic as the albums progress, I fully expect a pretty nice stage show to accompany this album.

Abrahadabra will see its release in the US on October 12th and I highly recommend anyone that has dug Dimmu Borgir recently to check this out. Hell, even if you haven’t been too keen on what the band has been doing for the last 10 years, you still could check this out. You might be surprised by what you hear.