Dimmu Borgir - _Stormblast (2005)_
(Nuclear Blast, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (7 out of 10)
It's a bit of a headscratcher this one, and it is sure to ignite more than a few bouts of raging debate as to not only what motivated the decision to re-record an album which many consider to be virtually flawless, but whether anyone even has the right to wave a moralistic finger in Dimmu Borgir's direction, regardless of their reasons for undertaking such a project. With those bones of contention likely to remain a matter of opinion for probably as long as music is regarded as a means of entertainment, reviewing this new version of _Stormblast_ becomes a very difficult balancing act between critiquing it on its own merits and comparing it to its 1996 counterpart.

If truth be told, when it comes to the latter effort this album doesn't fare too well. Notwithstanding the band's decision to all but remove the formerly prominent synths from the mix entirely, Peter Tagtgren's sterile recording job sucks much of the life out of the music, leaving songs like "Broderskapets Ring" and "Dodsferd" to sound rather more like the work of a black metal cover band than anything approaching rejuvenation.

Even so, there's no arguing over the quality of the actual songs, and it's a testament to the greatness of the original _Stormblast_ that almost a decade on, there's rarely a moment during the course of this record where it shows its age. While it's unlikely therefore that owners of the original record will regard this as anything more than a passing (and probably disappointing) curiosity, one would hope that particularly for those new to the band and the black metal genre, this will serve as a conduit to greater things.

Contact: http://www.dimmu-borgir.com

(article published 24/11/2005)

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5/19/1999 P Azevedo Dimmu Borgir / Dark Funeral / Dodheimsgard / Evenfall The Darkest Night of the Year
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