Hi guys, I’m here reviewing again. This time I’m looking at Dimmu Borgir
’s biggest mistake: In Sorte Diaboli
. Since Dimmu’s release of Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
, we've seen the deterioration of a once great black metal band. They did manage to keep some shred of dignity up to and including P.E.M., but now that's all gone. This is the album where Dimmu Borgir
finally scrapes the bottom of the barrel. Before doing this review, I had only heard one or two songs from the album. I knew it was bad, but I delved deeper to see if there was something... anything to make me see that Dimmu Borgir
had somewhere to take their band after this...
The album opens with a cheesy operatic synth intro, played by Mustis. (Don’t worry; there are plenty of those on here). Once
the guitars and drums kick in, we're introduced to the first big problem of the album: a guitar riff with only 2 chords that follows the simple keyboard riff. That
’s the kind of thing that’s bad when a band is brand new, but this band has been around for 17 YEARS. It’s ridiculous to revert to riffs that are simpler than riffs from their debut album. On top of that, most of the time, both guitarists are playing the exact same riff. Shagrath's vocals come in, and they sound feeble and exhausted, no longer suited for black metal. The black metal growl he had in Stormblåst
was depleted long ago, and to cover it up, you often hear his vocals being distorted by computerized effects, which is not something I like to hear in a metal album. The drumming, while done by Hellhammer
, is generic and boring, focusing on being just plain fast rather than focusing on any sort of style. Vortex
's vocals have never bugged me much before, since Dimmu Borgir
has been using melodic vocals since For All Tid
, but in this album, I think Dimmu decided to just push his vocals into random parts of as many songs as possible rather than use his voice in a constructive way that contributes to the song. I can’t even begin to tell you what bass lines he’s playing, so I’m only assuming that he’s doing the exact same thing that both guitarists are already doing. What a waste.
As the album progresses, you get the sense that a lot of ideas here were rushed and crammed together, and it makes the overall album sound like a big mess of rapid drumming, simple guitar riffs, and random "mood changes" that make the album hard to sit through and sound way too much like the first song or two. Dimmu Borgir
has now reached the point where every shred of decency and dignity as a black metal band (or even a metal band) are gone. The theatrical element that is present on every Dimmu album doesn't fit with anything else that the music tries to do. I think this album was more of a way for Dimmu to say "Look at how bad ass we are, guys!" And
that's something that you see in so many crap bands that are around now. It's hard to accept that such a good black metal band would sink so low. If you've heard just one song from this album, then you get the gist of what this album is like. Every song starts to meld together, and every song on the album takes the same tone.
The only song on the album that sounds any different from the others is "The Fallen
Arises" which is an instrumental that sounds like left over material from the song "Fear and Wonder" from P.E.M. It has none of the majesty or power that previous instrumentals like Glittertind
or Inn i Evighetens Mørke
had, but at least it's short. And
after that's done, we're right back to where we started: the same generic "bad ass" sound that was tired out by the second song. There isn’t much point in describing each song, because the songs sound so much alike, it’s almost like listening to a more “bad ass” version of Dragonforce.
In comparison to Death Cult Armageddon
and Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropy, nothing new is brought to the table. It's like Dimmu Borgir
just kept using junk material from Death Cult Armageddon
and recycling it over and over. This band is way past tired out, and unless they come out with something halfway decent in the next album, I don’t see any reason why this band should continue. Sure, you’ll hear modern Dimmu Borgir
fans defending this album by saying that it isn’t meant to be black metal, and that bands are allowed to evolve musically, and I agree with that (I love Empyrium
and they weren’t any kind of metal in their last few years), but it’s like they’ve devolved, making every song sound like the same big sloppy mess played over and over. In short, the whole album is completely worthless. If I had to give my favorite song, I guess I'd have to go with The Sacreligous Scorn
since it has the most changes and sections that sound different... although seeing the video for it almost made me bust a gut laughing at the self-parody that Dimmu Borgir
has become. Rating: 2/20