Dimmu Borgir
Death Cult Armageddon


4.0
excellent

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
February 6th, 2006 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Should the gates of hell ever feature a symphony to welcome the souls of the damned, Dimmu Borgir have earned themselves the right to receive those spirits as they await eternal suffering. Expending upon their melodic black metal roots, they have effectively transformed themselves into metalís leading extreme symphonic metal act. And they are undoubtedly one of the most extreme symphonic bands to have arisen since the demise of the legendary Emperor. Featuring a forty-eight piece orchestra from Budapest as well as guest appearances from Immortalís Abbath, Dimmu Borgir has succeeded in crafting their most articulate and multi-dimensional record to date.

The blend of extreme metal (black metal roots still apparent at time) with a full orchestra gives the music a distinct atmosphere, often presenting as a satanic symphony. The aptly titled Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, though perhaps a sub par track for the album, is rich in imagery, as is the thought-provoking Blood Hunger Doctrine. Dimmu balanced the metal with the classical very well by basing the music upon riffs and melodies and utilizing the orchestra as a symphonic backing, never allowing either side to dominate the other relentlessly. Featuring black metal-styled chord progressions, Allegiance creates a triumphant introduction, with a forceful metal feel.

Death Cult Armageddon certainly grabs attention with its many charming traits. Wonderful melodic moments such as Vredesbyrdís enriching lead guitar or the riffs of Allegiance (occasionally reminiscent of the bandís Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia work) prove to be unforgettable moments of the album. The main instrumental focus of the album is offset by the now famed drummer Nicholas Barker, who has certainly increased his skills behind the kit since his early days with Cradle of Filth. The blast beats and double bass rhythms that he so casually throws around during the album easily rival some of extreme metalís top drummers, proving that it doesnít take muscular, long-haired American to make a worthwhile percussionist.

Vocally, Dimmu Borgir is one of the most fortunate bands on the planet. Iím not referring to the lead workings of Shagrath, though his screams and growls are definitely worth a mention. Their true wealth lies within bassist ICS Vortex, who possesses one of the purest singing voices in metal. Allehelgens DÝd I Helveds Rike features a stunningly beautiful clean vocal harmony capable of bringing tears to the eyes of listeners. This is yet another dimension to the beauty of their multifaceted music, coalescing many influences and sounds to yield a banquet of moving orchestral prominence.

For a full sixty three minutes, Death Cult Armageddon is a record with many faces. Whether itís creating a lasting impression with the melodic Vredesbyrd, bludgeoning virgins with For the World to Dictate Our Deaths brutal metal, playing a sophisticated strings harmony such as Eradication Instincts Defined, or displaying extreme vocal prowess in virtually every song, Dimmu Borgir has captured nearly every element of extreme metal and blended them into a single, inspiring album. They may not be playing black metal anymore, but by shifting to an even more creative style they have unquestionably secured themselves as one of the most recognizable metal bands of the day with aspects appealing to fans of any end of the metal spectrum; none of this more apparent than Death Cult Armageddon.

Recommended Listening:
- Allegiance
- Vredesbyrd
- Blood Hunger Doctrine
- Allehelgens DÝd I Helveds Rike

Album highlights include:
- Technical prowess with stylized writing
- Excellent symphony usage
- Balance of melodic/brutal/atmospheric sounds
- Very unique with memorable songs
- Great blending of many musical elements



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user ratings (717)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Fxxkit13 (4)
    Great Black Metal Album from the most "Mainstream" band in black metal....

    psycho888999 (4)
    Love/hate relationship with this album....

    Bob (2)
    A black metal album gone mainstream seems like a paradox, but Dimmu Borgir quite happened ...

    Kit Brown (3.5)
    Death Cult Armageddon does have its moments of sheer greatness, but it's really just a wea...

  • The Cynic (5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
sgrevs
February 6th 2006


698 Comments


Nice review. I love the song Progenies of the Great Apocalypse though, it got me into Dimmu.

Thor
February 6th 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, as always. You didn't list many of the album's highlights though. The songs I really enjoy now are Allehelgens DÝd I Helveds Rike, Lepers Among Us, Progenies, and Cataclysm Children.

and the drum intro in "For the World to Dictate Our Death" is incredible. Long live Nick Barker.This Message Edited On 02.06.06

Riziger
February 6th 2006


316 Comments


Dont really like them, Good review tho.

Storm In A Teacup
February 6th 2006


13191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review was so good it almost brought tears to my eyes. :lol:
Wow, sounds great, and it's over an hour too!
I'm going to buy this as soon as I get a certain other album. (not neccesarily free;))

Shadows
Moderator
February 6th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[QUOTE=Thor]Nice review, as always. You didn't list many of the album's highlights though.[/QUOTE]
It's not hard to pick up what I think the high points are, but I'll edit them in anyway.

[QUOTE=Kripes]This review was so good it almost brought tears to my eyes.[/QUOTE]
I'm glad you liked it.

Thanks people, this album took a very long time to grow on me, but I love it now that it has.This Message Edited On 02.06.06

Priestmetal
February 6th 2006


542 Comments


Progernies of the Great Apocolypse... gotta love it.

Great review man.

Shattered_Future
February 6th 2006


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

And I thought you hated it. :P

This album has one glaring flaw, I believe: The band seems to use the orchestra as a crutch too much. Looking at certain tabs, the band instrumental portions are somewhat simplistic; they are made better by the orchestra, no doubt, but I find it brings this album down a notch or two.

For good music blended with an orchestra (In my humble opinion), check out Blind Guardian's A Night At The Opera or Nightwish's Once. Both represent the ultimate pinnacle of orchestral arrangements and metal.

However, this album still has its shining moments. Vredesbryad (I KNOW I spelled that wrong) is surely the best track on here, containing some catchy as hell riffs, some crushing vocal work, and an overall great feel. The two tracks containing Vortex (pity he only gets two tracks, his voice is superb) are untouchable. He alone makes them worth listening to. And, as usual, Barker is an absolute beast. One of the best drummers around today, ranking up there with Tomas Stauch, Gene Hoglan, Inferno, George Kolias, and so forth.

A side note: I found this at Target. :lol:. Interesting much?

Shadows
Moderator
February 6th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[QUOTE=S_F]This album has one glaring flaw, I believe: The band seems to use the orchestra as a crutch too much. Looking at certain tabs, the band instrumental portions are somewhat simplistic; they are made better by the orchestra, no doubt, but I find it brings this album down a notch or two.[/QUOTE]
I thought the same thing for a while, but after constant listening I realized how wrong I was. The balance between metal/orchestral moments is what makes this so good.

[QUOTE=S_F]For good music blended with an orchestra (In my humble opinion), check out Blind Guardian's A Night At The Opera or Nightwish's Once. Both represent the ultimate pinnacle of orchestral arrangements and metal.[/QUOTE]
I don't think those albums actually use a real orchestra. I don't know Once, but Blind Guardian definitely didn't have one.

[QUOTE=S_F]Vredesbryad (I KNOW I spelled that wrong)[/QUOTE]
*Vredesbyrd

You just can't win. :p

[QUOTE=S_F]A side note: I found this at Target. :lol:. Interesting much?[/QUOTE]
Why do you say that?

Aakon_Keetreh
February 6th 2006


448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think he says it because target doesnt seem the place to buy Dimmu Borgir cds

Good review was always Shadowsfallen

:thumb:

Hammerheart
February 7th 2006


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The music is alright, but the production is terrible.

Shadows
Moderator
February 7th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What's wrong with the production? :confused:

Hammerheart
February 7th 2006


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^I don't own the album, but I've downloaded several versions of it just to see if it was the one copy i downloaded, but everytime it sounds so damn muffled. Every other dimmu has fine production except this one.This Message Edited On 02.07.06

Shadows
Moderator
February 7th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Then you are definitely downloading a bad copy, or have the equilization on your media player screwed up. This album has excellent production.

Hammerheart
February 7th 2006


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Maybe i'll go out and buy it then.This Message Edited On 02.07.06

Storm In A Teacup
March 7th 2006


13191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still don't have this. :upset:

Shattered_Future
March 7th 2006


1541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album DOES have excellent production...

Ben, both albums actually DID use an orchestra...Nightwish used the orchestra that did the soundtrack to LOTR, BG used...well, they have a guy who has "Orchestral Stuff" listed next to him, not a synth player. I'm assuming he did most of the arrangements...

Thor
May 18th 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This review is better than mine.

King Antichrist
May 24th 2006


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There are better dimmu borgir cd's to get.

Intransit
September 26th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

is the production on this considered good in genre or good overall? because I have a 192 kbps copy where the production sounds a tad muffled.

Shadows
Moderator
September 26th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It must be the rip you have. The CD sounds as good as anything completely mainstream, production-wise.



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