Dimmu Borgir - _Godless Savage Garden_
(Nuclear Blast, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (
Dimmu Borgir found huge success, including a German chart placing, with last year's _Enthrone Darkness Triumphant_, so seeing a thrown-together cash-in compilation appear around the same time this year to keep up interest until January, when _Spiritual Black Dimensions_ is released, is not altogether surprising. For your money you get 41 minutes of music. About 12 of them cover the two new tracks, which, though not of lower quality than the majority of the material on _EDT_, are also not standouts, but instead standard keyboard-augmented, thrashing-guitar-black-metal tracks, as is Dimmu Borgir's current trade. I hope the new record is more different from _EDT_ than these tracks suggest. Now it gets ugly. "Raabjorn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde" is one of two old re-recorded tracks; it's damn good, but it appeared on the digipack edition of _EDT_. It might be "rare", but strike one track / five minutes for those who own the digipack, such as myself. Additionally, re-recordings should be -bonus- tracks, not part of any album or compilation. An Accept cover is next, of "Metal Heart" from their piss-poor, samey album of the same name. It is a proficient and enriching cover: they actually make melodic German metal sound vaguely evil -- well fancy that! And uglier. Three live tracks, two from _EDT_ and "Stormblast", close off _GSG_. If you're into having three odd live tracks, and if you're ever going to get the occasion to listen to them, then these are well produced and surprisingly bring out all the elements of the band's sound (I can't tell if it is overdubbed): soft keyboards, harsh vocals and razor sharp drums and guitars. They also contain some amusingly schlock style comments from Shaggrath. However, ultimately, I can't see this getting more than a few cursory listens and then being quickly abandoned in the wake of a new album, because of its cobbled together nature.
(article published 11/19/1998)
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