Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Music Review: DIMMU BORGIR - In Sorte Diaboli


Dimmu Borgir's newest offering, In Sorte Diaboli, has been highly publicized as Dimmu Borgir's first concept album. According to Krv on Blabbermouth.net (Feb 14, 2007),
'In Sorte Diaboli' is DIMMU BORGIR's first concept album and a treatise on modern-day political and social abuses of organized religion. An epic tale set in medieval Europe, this first-person account of an acolyte is told through his own journal entries, depicting his personal struggle with the teachings of the church. Experiencing a life-altering epiphany, he abandons the church completely, and his spiritual victory is won through his rejection of the concept of god.

The promo was ripped, and released early Thursday morning. As expected a huge excited swarm descended upon it, allowing the download to be completed in less than 10 minutes. The promo did not include the North American bonus track, The Herectic Hammer.

So far, I've only seen one actual review of the album. Which makes me very reluctant to generalize, but I wonder if people are forcing themselves to think it was good.

As an aside, the review mentioned that many complained about the triggered drum sound on Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, but to me, both in terms of sound production and music composition, I think it was the best album they've produced. It sounds like Nick Barker really stretched the skin on the snare, because its crisp hard sound was orgasmic! As for the triggers, I have no problem with it, and I think it helped to bring the music together by accentuating the drums. I know all instruments are vital, but it somehow feels that the drums, in PEM at least, plays an extra important role in the success of the album.

I was disgusted by the apparent weakness of it all when I first listened to it. The great Dimmu Borgir + the uber great Hellhammer = this crap? All excitement ended after the second song, and that was only because for 10 seconds near the end of the second song Hellhammer showed his pedalling prowess by kicking up a double-pedal storm. And at 43min, this album is so short that commuting from one end of the island to the other was more than enough to finish the album (for our foreign friends and fiends, Singapore where I live is an island city. A complete ride from the first to last stop of our public train service's East-West line takes just about an hour). What happened to Death Cult's 1h5min timing, or PEM's 1h9min, or at least Stormblåst's 59.5min?

It started to get abit better as I gave it a couple more chances. Mustis did not disappoint with an introduction that is majestic, with a dark overshadow. It's really hard to believe that it was all done on keyboards - seems that no mixing expense is spared when it comes to perfecting orchestral ambience. But it still turned out that the initial verdict wasn't all that far from the truth either. Repetitive riffing and drumming made the album no more than background music useful for blocking ambient noise out when you need to concentrate.

Has this got something to do with Nick Barker leaving? Cradle of Filth fell after he left, Dimmu Borgir suffers after his departure...

Who will he destroy next? ;)

2/5 skulls for the effort and good intro. Come on Dimmu you can do better than this.

You have to. >:)

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