Dimmu Borgir
Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (Remixed...)


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey STAFF
October 26th, 2022 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sonic soundscape of the original has been improved considerably.

There was a brief period between 1997 and 2003 when Dimmu Borgir could do no wrong. It was during this period they released their four best albums – Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, Spiritual Black Dimensions, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, and Death Cult Armageddon. Of the four, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia was arguably the best and undisputedly the most significant due to a series of firsts. Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia was the first album to feature new bassist ICS Vortex (Borknagar, Arcturus) and he brought with him the ability to provide clean vocals. The was also the first album to feature Galder (Old Man’s Child) and his excellent riffs, which immediately pushed Dimmu Borgir’s sound to another level. Puritanical… was also the first Dimmu Borgir album to feature an actual orchestra instead of keyboard approximations. Less significant in the grand scheme, but significant to this album, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia was also the first album to feature Nick Barker of Cradle of Filth on drums. Unfortunately, despite its significance, it also suffered from some questionable production choices.

The most glaring issue was the overarching shrillness of the album. The high end of Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia was simply overwhelming with the drums, keyboards, vocals, and guitars all battling for the same small bit of sonic real estate. It almost felt like they were trying for a more raw, conventional, black metal production while still maintaining a crystal-clear sound for the more casual fan. If that was their goal, they mostly achieved it, but at a price. Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia’s original production made for a very harsh listen at higher volumes and crammed a lot of the instruments into a small aural space. The Remixed and Remastered version fixes these issues by providing a full sounding sonic palette and moving the various instruments back to their respective positions. The drums and guitars pick up the low end they were so lacking, which allows the symphonic elements to be lower in the mix while providing more clarity than they previously had, which leaves the vocals and guitar leads as the only elements still occupying those higher registers.

While listening to this version I was able to pick up a lot of symphonic elements that were buried on the original album. While I didn’t hear anything new per se, I was also able to hear the riffs better because they weren’t battling for space with the vocals, drums, and keyboards / symphonic elements. Most importantly, the drums being moved back in the mix and picking up some bottom end has put a stop to the incessant typewriter sound that dominated the original album. Quite honestly, moving directly from the original album to the updated version is like night and day as far as ease of listening. In fact, the remixed album almost sounds muddy in comparison when moving back and forth between versions, but it is a fleeting impression that is gone as soon as your ears adjust. The Remixed and Remastered album also features a second album nicknamed Dust of Cold Memories which is essentially demos, rehearsals, and pre-production tracks from back in the day.

I’ve always liked Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, but always had a hard time listening to it. The shrill sound of the production coupled with an endless clicking from the drums made it unappealing except on very rare occasions. Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (Remixed and Remastered fixes those issues. The sonic soundscape of the original has been improved considerably, adding bottom end to the instruments that lacked it, and providing space where before there was just a wall of high end shrill. Whether the new sound appeals to long time fans will depend on how accustomed to the original they’ve become. Personally, I never appreciated Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia’s sound but loved the music. Either way, if you enjoyed the original sound, it’s still worth listening to Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (Remixed and Remastered for the new elements you may pick up. If you didn’t enjoy its sound, maybe this is finally your chance to enjoy one of Dimmu Borgir’s best releases.



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user ratings (26)
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DungeonBoy
October 26th 2022


9740 Comments


whaaa? didn't know this was a thing. Very curious to hear this, I feel like the production on PEM was absolutely mind blowing at the time, and always considered it to be the archetype of loud af modern metal production.

DungeonBoy
October 26th 2022


9740 Comments


sounds pretty good, less upper treble bite, much more present low end, bit wider sounding mix. The original was pretty dry but it made it rip through the speakers and still prefer the original to this remix/remaster.

I'll take any opportunity to listen to this song though. With the ignorance from your cross as the witness, the truth of your tragedy make you justice. Still goosebumps to this day.

Effigy
October 26th 2022


405 Comments


Hyped, I'm usually a huge fan of remasters/rerecordings

FreakMachine
October 26th 2022


1913 Comments


Hate this band but might actually check it out this time around

Egarran
October 26th 2022


34163 Comments


Huh I was also never aware of the production being an issue.

Trifolium
October 26th 2022


39132 Comments


Hmmm, not sure this needed a remaster either. I've almost never preferred a remaster over the original anyway. You get to know these albums a certain way and come to love them that way, despite (because of?) their quirks.

Still going to check it to see what it sounds like, maybe it can teach me something about an old love.

starboystargirl
October 26th 2022


693 Comments


Wasn't Vortex on Spiritual Black Dimensions, which came out before this?

Or am I misremembering? I'm old

Gyromania
October 26th 2022


37147 Comments


Whoa

Azog
October 26th 2022


1070 Comments


I do appreciate Stormblåst MMV, while indeed there's nothing wrong with the original. As for Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, I always thought of it's production as offensively bad. Brickwalled to oblivion, no dynamic range whatsoever, and fucking LOUD! An exhausting and unenjoyable chore to sit through. A bloody shame, really, as the songs are actually pretty good. So I guess I'll just give this a spin.

XyphDryne
October 26th 2022


382 Comments


I do not really need this remastered version and rather buy another unknown album for that money. Guess, the original did not bother me enough ( I bought the remaster of Cruelty though - that was really necessary).
Anway, this is my favorite Dimmu album thanks to the industrial touch and the outstanding drumming of Barker. After this album, they completely lost me. The successor bored me to tears.

necropig
October 26th 2022


7414 Comments


oh nice, didnt know this was happening

Trifolium
October 26th 2022


39132 Comments


The Cruelty remaster is 100% in the 'loved the OG, can't hear it differently' category for me. Happy that it makes people happy, but I really don't like nor need it.

SBD and DCA are my faves, with this one not too far behind.

Egarran
October 26th 2022


34163 Comments


I very much appreciate the Cruelty remaster.
Also Wilson's Deliverance.

AgentMadhatt
October 27th 2022


12 Comments


Holy barbed wire titties batman! I didn't even know this was out. Need to listen


zaruyache
October 27th 2022


27438 Comments


i suppose they did make the drums less overpoweringly clicky, tho that was also a bit of its personality.

ToSmokMuzyki
October 27th 2022


11003 Comments


dear god what did they do

Dizchu
October 27th 2022


553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Interesting remix/remaster. It sounds warmer and more dynamic but at the same time the cold trebly harshness of the original suited it.



Album cover is way better though.

Grimlin
October 28th 2022


1407 Comments


Only DB album I got into. Didn't have an issue with the original's sound (never thought it to be overly harsh at all), but I'll probably grab this anyway. I actually liked the original cover though :/

Dizchu
October 28th 2022


553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ok I gave the whole album a listen and I actually really like it, the drums sound a lot better

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
October 28th 2022


26096 Comments


yeah I’m digging this. feels like this new mix actually opens up the soundstage a bit and actually feels more dynamic, which is kind of unheard of with modern remixes



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