DIMMU BORGIR: SPIRITUAL BLACK DIMENSIONS - 1999
Re-Release - 2004 (Enhanced Digital CD & Extra Tracks)
Gothic Black Metal? An interesting idea if you can pull it off.
A year ago while stomping through one of my local Metal stores looking for fresh
blood, the guy behind the counter started raving about this great band
called CRADLE OF FILTH. His pitch was enough to convince me to buy the
album. Man but it stunk. The music, words, everything. Bereft of bass
sounds, the drums sounded like someone going tippy-tap on the plastic
lids of coffee cans. The guitarists sounded like they were trying to play
so fast that their fingers were getting tangled in their strings. The
lead singer sounded like a girl - but wasn't. The album seemed to be mixed
entirely in treble and was unforgivably dull.
I listened to it on my computer system, on my home stereo, and finally on my car audio system. Nothing could save it. It was shit.
I wish someone had told me about Sweden's Death Metal band DIMMU BORGIR instead.
With the overwhelming number of bands out there it sometimes takes forever
to finally listen to a band that may have been around for awhile. I've heard them now though, and I am going to buy their entire damn catalogue.
That's right! They are DAMN good!
DIMMU BORGIR are what I had expected from the highly hyped but pathetically
worthless CRADLE OF FILTH: CRUELTY AND THE BEAST.
I'm sitting here right now, playing DIMMU BORGIR and listening, yet again,
to the extraordinarily atmospheric "Reptile". With keyboards
by Mustis and drums by Tjoldave in front of the guitars, and weaving an
amazing strength of brutality and dreamy interludes, this is an incredible
piece. There is such a smooth flow from hardcore speed to slow tempos
here. This is the kind of stuff that Mussorsky would convey if he were
Most Black Metal bands just want to pound you into the ground, which can be cool,
but DIMMU BORGIR draws you into a aural world of nightmares that
are both enticing and threatening. The next version of QUAKE would do
well to have these guys writing the background music, and a return to
storyline gameplay is something that the QUAKE franchise sorely needs.
I'm now listening to "Behind The Curtains Of Night-Phantasmagoria". Keyboards
ever present give the whole album an atmospheric gothic feel - and rightly
Track 3 is "Dreamside Dominions" and here the guitars of Astennu, Silenoz,
and the bass guitar of Nagash (now gone from the band with well wishes from all concerned) come to the
fore. This is probably the most powerful song on an album loaded with
Silenoz and Nagash wrote most of the songs for SPIRITUAL BLACK DIMENSIONS,
which will make Nagash's parting missed.
Never the less, with incredibly strong vocals by Shagrath, this is an album that
splits heads. Pay attention to Shagrath's vocals. Next time you hear others
do these gutter-growl style of vocals, recall how many times the singer
the grumbled air through his mouth without bothering to even use his vocal
cords. Then listen to Shagrath sing and realize just how much raw real
voice he is giving to every damn song. This guy must have pipes of steel,
man! If I attempted to do that my vocal cords would be torn raw from their
moorings and hang out of my mouth like exhausted, beaten worms.
DIMMU BORGIR: SPIRITUAL BLACK DIMENSIONS is one of the best albums of 1999
and deserves to be around forever.
5 Perplex Skulls
copyright 2000 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
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