Dimmu Borgir
In Sorte Diaboli

Ho Hum. A new Dimmu Borgir album and with it will come the fan division between ‘true’ black metal fans who decry Dimmu Borgir as sellouts and undoubtedly a new generation of more accepting fans either hearing these Norwegian stalwarts for the first time or simply accepting Dimmu Borgir for what they are.

When the dust settles, ultimately, as simply as I can put it, In Sorte Diaboli is a Dimmu Borgir album and thusly comes with all the positives and negatives that graced the bands albums since Galder and Simen Hestæs joined the fray and made Dimmu Borgir a supergroup of sorts.

On the positive side, as expected the whole package is excellently packaged and presented, it’s lavishly produced (more on that later), it’s full of sweeping symphonics and Simen Hestæs sings. On the negative, the almost overproduction (notably the clicky drums) is almost ridiculously synthetic, there’s (again) not enough Simen Hestæs and frankly, for the first album in Dimmu Borgir’s career, there’s no real ‘great’ or album defining song. Where Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia had “Kings of Carnival Creation” and Death Cult Armageddon had the amazing “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse”, In Sorte Diaboli just has a string of solid songs. The only songs that come close to anything remotely ‘great’ either feature Hestæs delivering his trademark croon such as “The Sacrilegious Scorn” and the circus-like lurch of “The Invaluable Darkness” or see the band crank up the atmospherics a notch as in “The Fundamental Alienation” (with its admittedly cool choir use). Even the albums religiously conceptual approach doesn’t stand out.

As I said already In Sorte Diaboli is simply a Dimmu Borgir album, and as such, many of you will choose to buy it or not to buy it based on that fact alone, not this review. Still, it’s better than Cradle of Filth’s last effort, and will no doubt move a bunch of units. However, until the band further realizes Hestæs is their best asset and utilize him for more than a couple of choruses, Dimmu Borgir are beginning to be as predictable and unimaginative as their three word album titles.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 17th, 2007


  1. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I just found it bland, compared to PEM or DCA. Hellhammer’s drumming isn’t even that impressive.

    Pretty boring overall.

  2. Commented by: fightingmike

    I think the intro and first song on here is AMAZING with the epic orchestrated horns and Slayer chug, but the rest of the record is bland and unmemorable.

  3. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    I need to get this album. If it’s half as good as Death Cult Armegeddon…I won’t be disappointed.

  4. Commented by: faust666

    a little late for the party, aren’t you ?

  5. Commented by: gabaghoul

    songwriting is not as consistent as PEM or DCA but it sounds amazing and has some good cuts. if you like DB then it’s certainly worth picking up

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