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 Vredesbyrd
ís 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 Death
s 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
- Blood Hunger Doctrine
- Allehelgens DÝd I Helveds Rike
- 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