Dimmu Borgir
Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia


4.0
excellent

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
March 31st, 2006 | 238 replies | 22,722 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


10 of 11 thought this review was well written

…And thus began the great reign of disarray, commencing the new age of annihilation and despair, which was destined only to conclude in a terrible sadness. Innocent hath been spilled across the land by the blade of the new adversary, flooding the skies with a tempest of sadistic mourning. The enemy brought terror. And yet…as if possessed by a faint seraph…a gentle breath of life crept across the lifeless wasteland, cleansing it of iniquity for a sacred moment. Together, hand in hand, intertwined through a horrific scene, the two faces of the novel challenger stood beyond all hope, seemingly to reign for eternity in bloodshed. All that remained was a desert, stained with an unspeakable mortal, forever marked by the unholy reign of chaos.

Dimmu Borgir’s fifth record, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, was a key step in a new direction for the ex-black metal band. Departing from the raw, melodic sounds of For All Tid and Stormblast, five years later they evolved into a faster, heavier, symphonic, and in essence, more dynamic band. Not only is Puritanical arguably the band’s most brutal album to date, but also introduces the use of an authentic orchestra, which they have continued to use on the follow up album, Death Cult Armageddon. While the arrangements are not as prominent or elaborate as the subsequent record (Death Cult utilizing a full 72-piece orchestra from Budapest[/i] while Puritanical merely using a 13-piece Swedish strings ensemble), the music was a definite step forward in terms of atmosphere and complexity of their songwriting.

The music, like the introductory paragraph, is a conflicting yet complimentary fusion of opposing musical elements. Extreme metal doesn’t often go hand in hand with classical, but Dimmu Borgir seems to have mastered this technique prior to any other metal band. Shifting from crushingly heavy to tranquilly beautiful in nearly every track – Blessing Upon the Throne of Tyranny being one of the many examples, featuring tremolo riff madness and a lesson in the pummeling philosophy of Nick Barker – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia is the definition of a dynamic metal album. Wonderfully composed classical pieces introduce and conclude the album, wrapping an onslaught of Scandinavian hatred in a polished, bloodstained casing. Sympozium acts as a looking glass into what Death Cult Armageddon would later bring, as the band merely follows the string ensemble’s powerful lead with brilliant guitar harmonizing to solidify the blend. Puritania is three minutes of pure darkness as a steady drum beat backs Shagrath’s electronically distorted while the guitars and strings repeat a shady rhythm to lyrics of a descending protector.

Aside from progression in the music, the technical proficiency was due largely to the addition of two of the band’s key members. Nick Barker takes a seat behind the drum set and easily blows away any death metal drummers. Blessings and Absolute Sole Right pay tribute to his extreme double bass/blast beat speed. Even more valuable than Barker was the addition of bassist Vortex, who doubles as backing vocalist to Shagrath, and leaves no question as to why he has become a rather admired singer in modern metal. His high singing voice is decidedly conspicuous in nearly every song, and provides a soothing interlude in such tracks as Kings of the Carnival Creation and The Maelstrom Mephisto. Combining a multitude of rudiments to create Dimmu Borgir’s most melodic and most brutal to date, the two members continue to play a major role in the band’s modern signature sound.

No single characteristic of Puritanical can be favored over the rest. Allow time to do its part in helping listeners to realize just how varied the album is. Shifting from viciously heavy to beautifully melodic, from dark and menacing to serene and peaceful, Puritanical is one of modern metal’s most intricately written albums outside of the progressive genre. No lone song(s) can be chosen over the others – all eleven tracks flow together to make a solid album packed full of incredible riffs and astonishing orchestral compositions. For 58 minutes, Dimmu Borgir succeeds in creating a soundscape that is both a dreamy pasture and a raging battlefield.

A mere few favorite tracks:
- Blessings Upon the Throne of Tyranny
- Hybrid Stigmata – The Apostasy
- Sympozium



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Blindguardian
April 1st 2006



186 Comments


My only experience with this band was seeing them live once. The performance got me into Black metal. Very nice review, you and Thor are like a two man death squad of impecable metal reviewsThis Message Edited On 04.01.06

Diabulus in musica
April 1st 2006



485 Comments


hahaha that is so true, Shadowfallen and Thor are awesome metal reviewers....keep up the good work metal heads

pattern_recognition
April 1st 2006



950 Comments


Blessings Upon The Throne Of Tyranny is one of the most awe-inspiring pieces of musically flawless brutality I've ever witnessed. Up until I first heard it, I though stuff like In Flames was heavy.
Which it is, but there's heavy and there's THAT.
Excellent review.

Thor
April 1st 2006



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A most excellent review, comrade. This is my favorite Dimmu Borgir album and I don't know if they'll ever be able to top it. I'm happy that you listed both the 2nd track and Sympozium as highlights, for they are both incredibly sweet songs.

...and the chugging breakdown in "Blessings..." is the definition of badass.

Shadows
Moderator
April 1st 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really underrated it at first. It's now probably tied with Enthrone Darkness Triumphant as my favorite Dimmu Borgir album.

Aakon_Keetreh
April 3rd 2006



448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Meh, anything after Stormblast ishnt my cup of tea other than Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, but good review. :thumb:This Message Edited On 04.03.06

Shadows
Moderator
April 3rd 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why thank you everyone, you have made my day. This is easily the best out of all Dimmu's post-black metal albums, although Death Cult is good. Avoid Spiritual Black Dimsensions like the plague unfortunately.

Blakout
April 17th 2006



48 Comments


Really great review, actually inspired me to pick up the album (my first Dimmu album; I'd heard a few songs but didn't really like them for the most part) and I wasn't disappointed. Great album, especially since I had preconceived notions (for whatever reason) of Dimmu sucking.

Thor
April 21st 2006



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well most of the black metal elitists would tell you that this album sucks, but they're very wrong. While it isn't true to the original black metal sound, it's a lot better in terms of production, technicality, and being badass.

RunAmokRampant
April 21st 2006



228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

meh, there are better black metal bands but this album is decent regardless whether Dimmu are true blackmetallers or not

Hevy Tred
May 17th 2006



19 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Puritania live is the coolest shit ever.

It doesnt matter if there are other bands, Dimmu does it best

Shadows
Moderator
May 17th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd say these guys are at the top of the modern symphonic metal mountain.

TheDevilsOwn
May 17th 2006



91 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^^ I agree. I can't find very many other symphonic black metal bands. Can anyone point some out that I would be unaware of?

Thor
May 17th 2006



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you're into modern Dimmu Borgir then I'd suggest that you listen to some DragonLord.

Shadows
Moderator
May 18th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ I agree. I can't find very many other symphonic black metal bands. Can anyone point some out that I would be unaware of?

Emperor's latest stuff is probably the best extreme symphonic metal ever written, but they've broken up, not counting their re-uniting to play shows.

omgwtfboogie
May 18th 2006



211 Comments


"Perfection or Vanity" is beautiful.

Zxmbie
November 30th 2006



8 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Even if it isn't "true" it's still a good album. I enjoy it quite a bit, and Hybrid Stigmata - The Apostasy is a wicked tune.

Thor
December 17th 2006



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best Dimmu album ever. End of discussion.

Shadows
Moderator
December 17th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll can agree with that, but Enthrone Darkness Triumphant is right up with it in my eyes.

Thor
December 17th 2006



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This had more variation than EDT, but that album is still very good. Plus there was an absence of insane drumming.



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