Epic, bombastic and erupting from a deep Norwegian chasm of fire, sulphur, and brimstone can only be one thing: Abrahadabra the new album by Dimmu Borgir. Not since the lavish Progenies of the Great Apocalypse from 2003's Death Cult Armageddon has Dimmu Borgir sounded this grand and grandiose. The orchestration alone is massive throughout Abrahadabra, thanks to the creative involvement of Gaute Storaas, the Kringkastingsorkestret (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra), and the Schola Cantorum choir, for a total of more than 100 musicians and singers. Cripes! Does it get any bigger than that? I guess not. And you thought the Italian metal bands, like Rhapsody of Fire, had a monopoly on pompous and ostentatious heavy metal. Dimmu Borgir has raised the bar and stepped over it.
While marching over us with their extravagant compositions, Dimmu Borgir has found time to be more accessible than ever before. Born Treacherous seams to find Dimmu Borgir blending subtle moments of groove metal with their black metal. The namesake song Dimmu Borgir invokes both power and viking metal in their symphonic black metal wrapper. Gateways touches some gothic metal nuances, but they pop up intermittently throughout. This song features Agnete Kjolsrud of Animal Alpha, and if you've seen the video, she'll probably scare the bejesus out of you as much as Shagrath can. Obviously, this was a match made in Hel. Two of the best cuts here are Chess with the Abyss and The Demiurge Molecule which, excepting the black death growling, could pass for a more progressive side of symphonic black metal.
But in the end what really captivates the listener is the effortless means by which Dimmu Borgir does their pioneering symphonic black metal. As pompous and preposterous as it is, nobody does it better, with so much flair, acceptability and believability, than Dimmu Borgir. One wonders if they haven't become a parody of themselves already, kind of like a Norwegian Dethklok. But I don't think they would care, and neither should we: Dimmu Borgir is having too much fun and Abrahadabra sounds terrific. Recommended.
What really captures and captivates the listener is the effortless means by which Dimmu Borgir does their pioneering symphonic black metal. As pompous and preposterous as it is, nobody does it better, with so much flair, acceptability and believability, than Dimmu Borgir.
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