Dimmu Borgir
Eonian


3.4
great

Review

by Willie STAFF
May 8th, 2018 | 124 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Old but not obsolete.

It comes with getting older. One day you wake up and all the ‘stars’ you grew up with have aged. It happens with our favorite sports stars, movie stars, and even our favorite musicians. Out of all the occupations people can age out of, musicians probably have the most impact on a personal level. It only makes sense because we often gain an emotional attachment to the music we love, and even associate specific albums with events in our own lives. This emotional attachment makes it hard to watch one of our favorite artists slowly lose what made them special to us, and it’s even harder for those into more extreme forms of music. Fans of ‘mainstream’ genres can basically watch their favorite artists thrive well into their twilight years; the (lack of) physical requirements allows for that possibility. Like an NFL running back, though, extreme metal bands often hit an age wall early in their careers. This leaves them with only a few possibilities. They can start swapping members with younger players, evolve into a style they can still play/feel, fake it at the risk of their own legacy, or face an early retirement – Dimmu Borgir were a band that obviously found themselves at these crossroads.

I could be wrong, but In Sorte Diaboli and Abrahadabra sound like albums created by a band that were trying to fake a style they weren’t all that passionate about anymore, and it worked about as well as could be expected. Since they were already adept at member swaps, this left them with two choices: evolve or retire. If you think Dimmu Borgir took eight years between albums without seriously considering retirement, you have more faith than I do. This was a band that had already hit their thirties by the time In Sorte Diaboli was released, and they were now contemplating a return while married and in their forties. Believe me, retirement was a topic that came up. With the question of retirement answered, though, the only question remaining was one of direction and conviction. Were they really the same hate-filled youths full of unbridled aggression" Of course not, and that’s why Eonian is easily their best release since Death Cult Armageddon – because it’s obvious they’re making music they’re passionate about again, and they’re utilizing every bit of their twenty-plus years of experience to do it.

So, what does Dimmu Borgir circa-2018 sound like" Honestly, they sound like a more competent, black metal-tinged, version of Epica without nearly as much cheese and bombast. So, yeah, Eonian isn’t the same hateful wall of riffs and keyboards, and it’s not going to scare anybody with its aggression or intensity, but it’s still expertly done and totally enjoyable… it’s just not black metal. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of black metal moments, such as the main melody/riff of “The Unveiling” or the majority of “Lightbringer” and “Council of Wolves and Snakes”, but there are just about as many instances where the tempos and melodies bring to mind anything other than black metal. In fact, a lot of Eonian is pretty uplifting thanks to the overwhelming (and they are a bit overwhelming) amount of choir parts and the band’s newfound melodic inclinations. This is nowhere more apparent than on “Interdimensional Summit”. Without Shagrath’s vocals “Interdimensional Summit” would be the kind of poppy symphonic metal bands like Epica excel at creating. While the rest of Eonian isn’t nearly as upbeat thanks to the black metal undercurrent, just about every song has its moments.

Eonian might not be classic Dimmu Borgir, but it’s still better than anything they’ve done in nearly fifteen years specifically because they’ve stopped trying to recreate a sound they had literally outgrown. Eonian takes the parts we most associate with Dimmu Borgir and forges them with a more traditional metal sound that creates the band’s most melodic, diverse, and nuanced release. Of course, as bands grow and evolve, their fans come to a crossroads too – evolve with them or move on. I’m not going to lie, when the first song for Eonian was released I thought it was terrible. I thought it sounded like Epica without the hot redhead; it definitely wasn’t Dimmu Borgir. It took a few listens and an acceptance that this is a new era for Dimmu Borgir for me to enjoy Eonian for what it is. Eonian is a solid black metal-tinged trip through some expertly crafted symphonic metal featuring creative melodies, plenty of aggression, and enough diversity and nuance to keep coming back for more.



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2.9
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Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (3)
A pretty face with an overabundance of makeup....

Subrick (2)
Running away from what they're good at...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
May 8th 2018


17609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

Haven't reviewed anything since October, so trying to knock the dust off.

Toondude10
May 8th 2018


13271 Comments


never got into these guys. I only know them because the vocalist was in The Black Halo.

Digging: Ice Nine Kills - The Silver Scream

teamster
May 8th 2018


3160 Comments


Me either. Great review though. Love the personal take.

Digging: Agrypnie - Grenzgnger

Hawks
May 8th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rips.

Digging: Four Fists - 6666

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2018


7992 Comments


Excellent review in just about every context.



One “needle in a haystack” of a correction

and it’s not going scare anybody

and it’s not going to scare anybody

Digging: Kevin Hufnagel - Messages To The Past

rc239
May 8th 2018


230 Comments


cheesy, fun album. pleasantly surprised!

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2018


24236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Great review. Totally agree that it’s black metal tinged metal.

Hawks
May 9th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Surprised you don't dig this more Brandon.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 9th 2018


8873 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I can’t help it, this is still a let down.

Hawks
May 9th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This far exceeded my expectations honestly.

BlackwaterPork
May 9th 2018


4255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's pretty meh tbh

Digging: mewithoutYou - [Untitled]

Hawks
May 9th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah.

BlackwaterPork
May 9th 2018


4255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yah.

Hawks
May 9th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah.

BlackwaterPork
May 9th 2018


4255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fight me

Hawks
May 9th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok.

BlackwaterPork
May 9th 2018


4255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Come at me mate I'll fuck you up

Hawks
May 9th 2018


60926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahahahahaha

Willie
Moderator
May 9th 2018


17609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

--One “needle in a haystack” of a correction--

Thanks. There's always one (at least...). That whole question mark glitch we have now is probably one of the most annoying site glitches so far. At least most of the other glitches didn't affect the reviews themselves.



--cheesy, fun album. pleasantly surprised!--

Ha ha. It really is.



NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 9th 2018


8873 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That whole question mark glitch we have now is probably one of the most annoying site glitches so far.




You can copy/paste the one in my shoutbox into your reviews if you like. A gift from Gonzo via asdpf



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