Monday, 14 March 2016

Dimmu Borgir "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" (1997)

Norwegian Symphonic Black Metal outfit Dimmu Borgir have been my absolute favorite band for many a year but with a recent inspired lust for their music I am reminded as to how remarkably well I know the ins and outs of this record and how much pleasure and joy can come from the depths of familiarity. Their music is my catharsis, an escape from any burden, a spiritual experience and the bands following record, "Spiritual Black Dimensions" is the greatest of musics to ever grace my ears. Of course music is subjective and personal and it is my personal experience that has solidified my love for them as waves of memories and nostalgia hit me with intensity listening to this one again. At a time when music sharing over the internet was in its infancy, songs like "Morning Palace" took me by storm with a flood of exhilarating noise that rocked my perceptions of music forever.

EDT is the bands most important record, taking a definitive step away from the low fidelity, traditional style of 96's "Stormblast", into the lush and lavish world of fine tuned, ear melting production that would bring their ambitious musical ideas to life in a new dimension. Refining their approach to songwriting and taking full advantage of a gorgeous production sound the band forge a masterful chemistry between guitar and symphony. Soaked in majesty, blasphemy and wonder these hellish dark anthems are engrossed in inspired melodies and harmonies that tunefully wist us into riveting musical worlds to paint the mind with an endless depth of emotion. Its significance and influence on the direction of the growing European metal scene is their to be seen. Taking Black Metal to a more accessible place, while expanding the possibilities with intelligent and thoughtful musicianship.

As mentioned, the chemistry of symphony and guitar is a key component in this records brilliance. The synths are thick, bold and shapely, carving distinct signatures that define the atmosphere. Beside them dense, burgeoning distortion guitars are tightly performed, oozing and melting into a shimmering harmonized wall of sound with the synths, and standing vibrantly on their own feet when commanded too. Behind them whirling blast beats and dizzying drums rattle away with precision force, joining the barrage into the glorious wall of sound. The bass is the think underlining to fill the dimension with a low warm boldness that has a few moments to inflect its own lines, but mostly acts as the dense undergrowth.

Leading the charge is vocalist Shagrath, who's praises I will sing from the highest mountain. His voice and scream is one so familiar the nuances are all known to me. Its in the finer scrutiny of his tone, snarl and delivery that a true charm can be heard through passionate delivery that has a fair few moments on this record where the words and meaning move through him. "Relinquishment Of Spirit And Flesh" for example, the growls and guttural screams through the songs mid section bellow, roar and howl with dimensions other screamers just can't reach. Its a moment of true inspiration and his voice surpasses the mortal realm, lunging us deeper into these devilish songs of eternal darkness.

The records theme, as you might of guessed, is of evil and darkness, however its forged through bright and intelligent melodies that make for memorable hooks and endless unforgettable riffs, harmonies and moments. The song structuring is smart, mixing the basic elements with some unraveling passages that make for continually exciting and easy to comprehend music. It can be a little rigid with section repetitions but not to a flaw. If this record does have a criticism it might just be the track "Entrance" which despite being a damn good song is overly simplistic in structure and feels somewhat like a rehash of "In Death Embrace" echoing a similar vibe between guitar and bright pianos.

Ive listened to this record well over a couple hundred times. Its an insatiable and riveting experience ripe with luxurious synths, rocking aggression from the guitars and that pummeling swell of darkness from Shagrath's evil screams and the menacing blast beats that have plenty a moment. The vivid atmospheres conjured have been endlessly inspiring and just hit me on that indescribable level. Its been an absolute pleasure to have enjoyed this music for so many years and I will continue to do so for the rest of my time!

Rating: 10/10