3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
GREAT ALBUM - BUT BRING BACK THE ORCHESTRA FOR THE NEXT ONE!,
This review is from: In Sorte Diaboli: +DVD (Audio CD)
Very good album, and it was my first taste of Dimmu!
Very heavy with big emphasis on Metallic riffs, Double Bass drums and a BIG, clear production sound. One of the best productions around. Sounds like a million dollars!
A concept album, with an interesting story, similiar to Sabbat's Dark Age lyrical themes. Very brutal and varied vocals from the charred throat of Shagrath and Clean vox from bassist ICS Vortex (better than on Death Cult Armageddon, as good as if not better than on Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia).
The guitar work is more Heavy Metal/Thrash in style than early BM tones, and Hellhammer is an apt way of describing the drummer's nature as well as name! Very fast, heavy with a very clean, powerful sound.
Mustiis, as usual, delivers some great symphonic keyboard work particularly on epic opener, The Serpentine Offering. However it's a dissapointment that the band did not use a real orchestra or at least a string section (as on DCA & PEM). Synths can sound great, as they do on here, & replicate a symphony orchestra really well (see Epica) BUT there's no substitute for the real thing. The material is so well written & produced, that if a full orchestra had been added, I would almost certainly consider this the best DM album of all! The good news is that the band are starting work in 2008 on the next concept album (the 2nd part of Diaboli's story) and are looking to work with no less than the London Philharmonic Orchestra - So effective on Nightwish's Once & Dark Passion Play albums, and The Lord Of The Rings Film Trilogy.
Standout tracks: All of them, most work standalone and all work as a whole concept!
The packaging is great - yes, the inverted lyrics/mirror idea is a bit naff but the fonts and dark ages style illustrations are really good!
The Bonus DVD is actually VERY good, with informative footage from the recording studio, indepth interviews, and the promo video for The Serpentine Offering (which is almost like a mini movie with it's historical look married to the band performing). Absoluteley love the 'Dimmu look' as well - OTT in it's 'Evil' style but totally suiting the music!
If you like Symphonic Metal (even if no real orchestra) and like well produced, VERY heavy music, then I would recommend. If you like the heavier end of the likes of Judas Priest, then make a leap as Dimmu's music is not the poorly produced noise that many people consider Black Metal to be.
In all reality, as with Emperor and Therion, Dimmu Borgir have left the Black/Death Metal shackles behind, taking the aggression & darkness with them, and adding the melodic sensibilities, professional productions and higher musical excellence needed for the next level.