Dimmu Borgir - _Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia_
(Nuclear Blast, 2001)
by: Chris Flaaten (
Every time I read a review or an article about Dimmu Borgir, a discussion of whether it is black metal or not always seems to be in place. I couldn't care less, but I'll choose to call it extreme metal in a diplomatic effort to avoid the wrath of black and death metal purists. There really should be a third genre, as more and more bands use elements from both death and black metal to form something new... Nevermind. Back to the matter at hand: Dimmu Borgir have returned with a new album. For the sake of accuracy and to avoid charges of plagiarism I'll quote some lines from Paul Schwarz' review of _Spiritual Black Dimensions_ [CoC #38], where he compared their then newest album to the previous one -- the reason why is that the exact same thing can be said when comparing _PEM_ to _Spiritual Black Dimensions_: "The key difference is an increase in speed and brutality (...) The main thing about <new album> is that it is better than its predecessor. The guitars churn out nastier riffs, the drums blast harder, the keyboard lines are more interesting and (the most important factor) the arrangements are -much- better." In other words, their new album is an exact continuation of what they did on _SBD_. Let's explore this statement. Galder has replaced Astennu on guitar and this is quite obvious on some songs. However, I am not certain that Galder is the sole source of the vast amount of quality riffs or of the increased guitar orientation on this album. Nick Barker has taken over drumming duties from Tjodalv and although he sounds like a machine on some parts, his precision and intensity go well with Dimmu's "new" sound. The keyboard lines are more in the background now but remain an important part of their sound. But here comes the treat: Dimmu has hired a twelve-piece symphony orchestra to play a substantial amount of the keyboard lines. Therion and Kamen/Metallica eat your hearts out, 'cause their presence is impressive! At the same time they have also added a more modern aspect to the album with some Kovenant-esque arrangements and vocal effects. The production is superb and you can hear each instrument clearly. I choose not to describe any songs. Expect everything and enjoy!
(article published 13/3/2001)
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