(9/10) There were many attempts of combining classic music and metal to something exciting and breath-taking. Sometimes things ended in a failure while rock history also shows some true wins. Fortunately this longplayer belongs to the latter, showcasing Norwegian black metal spearhead Dimmu Borgir together with a classic orchestra. The CD includes such a show as audio while the DVD set brings, in addition, the Wacken 2012 show right into your living room. In this review I can only refer to the Oslo show.
It was in May 2011 when Dimmu Borgir played a concert at Spektrum in Oslo which is also the name-giver for this album. Under the header of “Forces of the Northern Night” the black metal outfit performed a show together with 53 members of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra plus a 30 singer featuring choir from Schola Cantorum.
It’s of course a well-known fact that the Norwegians played this show and that it was broadcasted on NKR (Norwegian Broadcast Corporation) made it accessible for a wider group of fans. However, since this show marked a new milestone moments in black metal it’s great that an official release is available via Nuclear Blast.
Dimmu Borgir’s way of arranging the show and partly re-arranging the songs makes this concert to an unforgettable one. The bombastic blackened metal gets another dimension by adding choir and orchestra. Bringing together these elements can potentially end up in a competition or a clear segmentation of which part becomes more dominant when. Not in the case of “Forces of the Northern Night”. Here it’s more about combining the different musical components what strengthens the power and intensity of each of the 17 songs played that night. This release is the capturing of an impressive work that shows what an open-minded approach can lead to. A smart and respectful combination of different musical backgrounds leads to awesome versions of songs like “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse and “Dimmu Borgir”. But also expressional tunes like “Eradication Instincts Defined” are great moments on this album. Even though the classic is a bit more in the forefront with the last mentioned track, things go perfectly together with the rest of the tunes that have been performed that night. All together comes as a well-fitting puzzle rather than a alien bodies that feel like being on the wrong spot.
All in all the Oslo show marked a cornerstone in black metal. Maybe it made this genre more commercial and maybe the underground touch got lost. But in the end it’s a very well executed creative idea that’s entertaining and impactful – an experiment that ended in impressive 90 minutes of music.
- Xibir (orchestra)
- Born Treacherous
- Dimmu Borgir (orchestra)
- Dimmu Borgir
- Chess With The Abyss
- A Jewel Traced Through Coal
- Eradication Instincts Defined (orchestra)
- Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
- The Serpentine Offering
- Fear And Wonder (orchestra)
- Kings Of The Carnival Creation
- Mourning Palace
- Perfection Or Vanity (orchestra)
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017