Review Summary: Death Cult Armageddon does have its moments of sheer greatness, but it's really just a weaker version of their previous output.
Dimmu Borgir � Death Cult Armageddon
In case you don�t know who Dimmu Borgir is, let me fill you in on some facts. They used to be a black metal band when they started out but now have just become more of a symphonic metal band instead. This album is their newest release and features an enormous orchestra. This band has achieved a very popular status for being in their type of genre. The tracks are:
This was also voted the 6th best album of 2003 by Revolver Magazine and even got into the lower reaches of the Billboard Top 200 at one point.
Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Lepers Among Us
For the World to Dictate Our Death
Blood Hunger Doctrine
Allehelgens D�d I Helveds Rike
Eradication Instincts Defined
The album aims to be as epic as possible, and for the most part they achieve it. The opening song Allegiance starts off with an epic bang and some very impressive drumming from Nicholas Barker, one of metal�s best drummers. There are some pretty cool riffs and vocalist Shagrath always gives a good solid performance. After this opener entrances you into the album we come upon the single and Dimmu�s most popular song, Progenies of the Great Apocalypse. This song�s intro is incredibly awesome and one of the highlights on the album if you ask me. The vocals during the verse might annoy some people, but there are also some clean vocals delivered by the bassist after the second verse. There is also a very long and impressive orchestra interlude with a keyboard solo intertwined. After that, the song ends. It�s pretty cool and most say that it is the highlight of the album.
The last song faded out with the sound of swarming insects and it loops over into the third track, Lepers Among Us. This song drops the symphony and goes for a more brutal approach, and it�s done very well might I add. All of the riffs are the top notch and the drumming is absolutely insane. The song also quiets down and drops a few Satanic samples into the mix. Pretty creepy stuff. Well this song was pretty cool, and another highlight. So far the album�s lyrics have been in English, but the fourth song is entirely in Norwegian, the band�s native language. This song sounds like it could be from a power metal band but with black metal style vocals. It�s a decent song, but after hearing three songs that were better than it I wasn�t particularly blown away.
The fifth song�s intro (For the World to Dictate Our Death) should be heard by drummers around the world. The opening solo is incredibly fast and could only be done by Nick Barker. The rest of the song is filled with loads of aggression and blazingly quick blast beats. The vocals in this song also make me want to headbang along. The song also contains several bits of indecipherable samples but they don�t really add anything to the song. This is another enjoyable song that most metal fans would like to throw up the horns to. Now all of my friends who have listened to this album think that Blood Hunger Doctrine, the next song, is really awesome, but I personally found it to be one of the weaker points on the album. The slow Drop D riffs get to be monotonous after a while, but the choir in the back sounds pretty cool. The weird effects on the vocals also annoy me and make me want to skip the song. It�s not that great of a song.
Allehelgens D�d I Helveds Rike redeems the album by coming back with more sheer speed and aggression that rivals Slayer. There are also more Norwegian lyrics which may bother some listeners, but it doesn�t affect me at all. There are also some cool parts among the riffs where the orchestra can be heard. It definitely adds to the symphonic approach that the band was trying to create. Clean vocals are also apparent in this song which sounds really cool. It�s another excellent song. Cataclysm Children is another fan favorite and it contains most of the same elements you heard in the last song. Just read above for further detail, but this song has fast technical drums and heavy riffs. The only difference is that there is a haunting and quiet interlude about three and a half minutes in and finally, a guitar solo! It�s not shredding or anything, but it�s melodic and fits the song greatly. This is yet another good song.
Eradication Instincts Defined is one of the two epic songs on the album. The orchestra and choir intro goes on for almost two minutes and constantly sounds good. After this Shagrath lets out a very demonic scream over more brutal riffing. This song achieves the epic and badass feel it sets out to do, but it�s dragged on for a really long time. The intro is the best part of the song, but after that it just seems to go downwards from there. If it was a shorter song it would have been better, but after a while it just begins to become monotonous.
Unorthodox Manifesto is next, and it�s got a quiet and chilling intro. There are sound effects of sirens, helicopters and machine guns. Like I said before, this is the second epic song on the album. You�ll also hear people chanting �Hail Satan!� in the background. After this goes on for a little bit over a minute, the band enters with their typical style of playing like I�ve said several times before. There is a cool guitar solo at about 4:30, but it doesn�t go on for very long unfortunately. The song continues on with the normality until about 6:30 where we have another guitar solo that�s better than the last one. The middle of the song is pretty boring, but the end definitely makes up for it. This is another good and listenable track, even though it�s almost nine minutes long.
Now we�ve reached the albums final song, Heavenly Perverse. We all have high hopes for the last songs and hope that the album goes out with a bang. It enters with crow sound effects and clean guitars that remind me of Opeth. There are some female vocals that come in first along with some other samples that are impossible to understand, and then a really long death growl comes in as well. And finally, the song really gets going. The choir really stands out in some parts of this song which certainly helps out the band. The vocals are really low and they don�t sound as good as his normal vocals in my opinion. So far, nothing special really has happened. At about 3:30 the band starts to change things up and starts playing some technical riffs with lots of time changes and the like. The vocals also gradually improve throughout the song. If you read the lyrics, they�re pretty frightening. Overall, this song was a letdown. I was hoping for an absolute epic track to end the album, but I just ended it not getting what I wished for.
Well, this album surely has some excellent qualities to it, along with a few flaws. Here is how it marks up in the pros and cons list:
- Cool riffs and insanely great drumming
- The orchestra and choir make the overall sound so much better than it could have been.
- The first half of the album is amazing
- People may not like the vocals
- The second half of the album isn�t as good as the first
- The songs tend to repeat themselves
Overall this album was a triumph, but not a classic like the other review said. I fully agree with this rating that I�m going to give.
Final Rating: 3.5/5