DIMMU BORGIR - Death Cult Armageddon
August 25, 2003, 16 years ago
Arguably the album destined to carry the Norwegians beyond the underground, as successive releases and corresponding tours have taken them to the brink of a major breakthrough. To that regard, Dimmu didn’t play it safe, with a by-the-numbers, sure-to-sell collection. In fact, the eleven, polished, highly orchestrated tracks seek to meld the classical and black metal realms, once and for all. The early compositions, like ‘Progenies Of The Great Apocalyse’ are mini film scores, dynamic and dangerous, yet regal. Two of the songs retain Norwegian titles (tending towards the more traditional blackened anthems)and the clean, higher register of bassist Vortex (Simen Hestnaes) is employed minimally throughout the 72 minutes. Voiceovers are utilized on several cuts, but none more effectively than the eight minute ‘Unorthodox Manifesto’, which could easily be the new live opener, given the military barrage soundbites and “Gentlemen, Destroy!” introduction. ‘Blood Hunger Doctrine’ slows things to a crawl, beginning as if some perverse ballad/single. Rest assured, the latter 2/3 sounds appropriately sinister, even though in contains piano. Believe it or not, the ‘Heavenly Perverse’ finale begins with a snippet of acoustic guitar! It’s not a storming finisher, more moody, which is the overall vibe of Death Cult Armaggedon. The promotional copy contained two bonus tracks (eclipsing 13 minutes), both completely symphonic instrumentals (no metal gear). Prepare for an aural upgrade.