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CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Eonian"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Dimmu Borgir, Eonian, Black Metal, Melodic Black Metal, News, Nuclear Blast, CD Review, Bombastic Black Metal

CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Eonian"

(6/10) In a time when first Dutch tulips start to spread their joyful colors all over Holland, it's the darkness from the North that enters Europe via the backdoor. Norwegian black metal pioneers Dimmu Borgir started a new  mission to shade the brightness of spring with a new album the trio has in the pipline.

"Eonian" is the title of Dimmu Borgir's 10th longplayer, an album that features ten new songs. Considering the fact that "Abrahadabra", the predecessor, was published seven years ago gives the idea of a lot of time for working on new inspiring material.

Unfortunately I have to conclude that "Eonian" isn't the powerful album I expected. I was spinning the album several times, always hoping that it unveils a dark beauty I haven't discovered the previous round. Allow me a metaphor from baseball - bats stay cold when it comes to the new Dimmu Borgir record. The album might include some base hits, but definitely no homerun.

"Eonian" is like the endless flow of water, forced to stay in the riverbed. There isn't any wildness and what you get is the same thing only different. There is a lot of orchestrated bombast added to the album which camouflages a certain lack of inspiration. "Eonian" spreads a feeling of monotony. I haven't expected this at all, which made the disappointment even bigger. To be clear, I really like the earlier releases and I think that records like "Death Cult Armageddon" belong to the milestones of bombastic black metal. The new album though can't live up to these highlight from the North. Black metal is more than some uptempo parts and hoarse vocals by Shagrath. The longplayer misses the energy and enthusiasm of earlier albums. It feels like "Eonian" isn't a matter of heart. It sounds more like a 'must' to fulfill and also the well-done sound, with Jens Bogren at the helm, doesn't make any difference. 

"Eonian" is the first real disappointment in 2018 and even if you're Dimmu Borgir fan I recommend to check out the album first. 

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Unveiling

  2. Interdimensional Summit

  3. ÆTheric

  4. Council of Wolves and Snakes

  5. The Empyrean Phoenix

  6. Lightbringer

  7. I Am Soveriegn

  8. Archaic Correspondence

  9. Alpha Aeon Omega

  10. Rite of Passage

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

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CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Forces of the Northern Night"

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2017 von Markus W. in Dimmu Borgir, Death Metal, Black Metal, Live, News, Heavy Metal, CD Review, DVD Review, Wacken

(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.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Xibir (orchestra)
  2. Born Treacherous
  3. Gateways
  4. Dimmu Borgir (orchestra)
  5. Dimmu Borgir
  6. Chess With The Abyss
  7. Ritualist
  8. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
  9. Eradication Instincts Defined (orchestra)
  10. Vredesbyrd
  11. Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
  12. The Serpentine Offering
  13. Fear And Wonder (orchestra)
  14. Kings Of The Carnival Creation
  15. Puritania
  16. Mourning Palace
  17. Perfection Or Vanity (orchestra)

 

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017

CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Forces of the Northern Night"
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CD review ODIOUS "Skin Age"

Veröffentlicht am 8. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Odious, Death Metal, Black Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Dimmu Borgir, Nile

(8/10) Already the fact that this album was written and recorded demands respect. Playing black metal in Egypt doesn't seem to be the easiest thing. I could imagine that it asks for a lot of willpower and dedication for metal music which makes you realizing your metal dreams. As a consequence, line-up changes have happen quite often and mainman Bassem Fakhri had to find new dudes all the time.

Odious from Alexandria released their debut in 2007 which means that "Skin Age" is the band's second output. The Egyptians got quite some support from the Greece metal community. "Skin Age" was produced the DevaSoundz Studios in Athens and the classical orchestration was done, next to Fakhri, by Septic Flesh's Christos Antoniou. The mix and mastering was in the responsibility of Fredrik Nordstorm and Henrik Udd, done at Studio Fredman in Sweden. All this led to a symphonic and bombastic sound of "Skin Age".

Odious finds the right mix of orchestral elements which they combine with raw black metal attacks and deep growls. Bringing together all these elements can easily lead to a sonic disaster. Not in this case. The opener "Crown of Centuries" merges all these various components and the result is a dramatic black metal track that sounds big.

Next to those epical tunes there are the harsher numbers on the album too. "A picture of Dead Art" is such a song, at least during the first minute. Then there is a twist. A female choir joins, followed by a flute and oriental instruments, something that finds its continuation in "AlZar", the next track.

One of the most raging compositions on "Skin Age" is "All the Evidence" which is, in parts, the fastest track on the longplayer.

Odious' "Skin Age" can be, remotely, compared with Dimmu Borgir's classic cooperation from a few years ago, but in the end the Egyptians also included various local elements into their sound which makes them sound different and exciting. Own trademarks and an interesting concept make Odious to a very special listening experience that you shouldn't miss.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Crown of Centuries
  2. Crystal Clear
  3. A Picture of Dead Art
  4. AlZar
  5. All the Evidence
  6. New Mystery
  7. Dungeon Keys
  8. Hot Blood Fumes

 

Label: The Leader Group

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: February 12th, 2016

CD review ODIOUS "Skin Age"
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CD review WHITE EMPRESS "Rise of the empress"

Veröffentlicht am 8. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Whire Empress, Black Metal, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle Of Filth, Nightbringer, 1349

(5/10) OK. That Paul Allender left the British death metal band Cradle Of Filth is known and nothing new. That he started his own band/project called White Empress is also known. What is new is the fact that we know since a few days how the band sounds since the debut "Rise of the empress" is available.

The guitarist from Colchester, Essex, started White Empress in 2013. The first thing that I noticed was of course the cover. It looks like the promotion of a Walt Disney x-mas movie and after seeing it I was even more curious about the music. After having heard the first songs I got into a state of disillusion.

The album "Rise of the mpress" starts quite OK with an instrumental. It is a dramatic one that would also work perfectly on a soundtrack for a movie. Expressionism meets heavy metal. 

But what comes next is not what gets me excited. It's a mix of metal the Cradle Of Filth style combined with some Rammstein-like keyboard samples. The vocals are the same ol' story from clean female ones (from Melissa Ferlaak) merged with growls and shouts. This what we have heard already many times before and mostly also better than what you get from White Empress. 

What I also miss with the album is a clear structure in the songs. All the tunes are heavy, no doubt. But there is too much going on. Less would have been more. There are the fast black/death metal parts, the cineastic orchestration, sometimes there are also industrial elements included, there are the mentioned female vocals and the growls. All those pieces have been put together in a way that the result sounds unfinished and chaotic.

This album is not made for my ears. There are better releases this month like 1349 and Nightbringer. And there are still alternatives like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. Sorry Paul. Maybe next time.

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rise of the empress
  2. The congregation
  3. A prisoner unleashed
  4. Darkness encroaching
  5. Sven's tower
  6. Erased and rewritten
  7. The ecstatic and the sorrow
  8. Dethroned
  9. Obsession with the empress (Human to divine)
  10. Our to burn

 

Label: Peaceville

Genre: Black Metal

CD review WHITE EMPRESS "Rise of the empress"
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CD review NIGHTBRINGER "Ego dominus tuus"

Veröffentlicht am 28. September 2014 von Markus W. in Nightbringer, Black Metal, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, CD Review, News

(8/10) North America isn't the area for black metal bands. Those are more coming from Europe. But there are moments when a pitch black surprise comes across the ocean.

This time it is named Nightbringer. Already the name of the quintet from Green Mountain Falls, Colorado is a clear statement. We are not talking about happy and catchy melodies here. The ten black metal songs are dark and intensive. This album isn't a laid-back piece of music. It's a demanding metal record which screams for your attention - at least when you're interested in black metal.

The first thing I want to state is the doomy and powerful sound of "Ego dominus tuus". It gives the tracks the right gloomy atmosphere that is needed. 

The music itself is influenced by bands like Dimmu Bordir (in the earlier days) and Emperor. But Nightbringer has enough own components in their music to not copy the before mentioned ones. Of course they don't reinvent the wheel with their record, but the 'give the wheel another twist'.

The highlight of the album is reserved to the end. It is the epical long "The otherness of being" that sticks out. It's not easy to keep the tention high in a twelve minutes black metal song. But Naas Alcameth and his gang manages this pretty well. The brawly vocal by Ar-Ra'd al-Iblis, the riffy guitars and the ochestrated background create an oppressive sphere and sound like the ouverture to the gates of hell.

Only small point of critic is the length of the album that is with 72 minutes maybe a bit too long for a black metal record. But anyhow, you can't get enough from good stuff.

All in all "Ego dominus tuus" is one of the best black metal albums from outside Scandinvia. A good fourth strike of the band.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Prayer of naphal
  2. Et nox illumnation mea in deliciis meis
  3. Lantern of eden's night
  4. Things which are naughty
  5. I am the gateway
  6. Call of the exile
  7. Where fire never dreamt of man
  8. The witchfires of Tubal-Qayin
  9. Salvation is the son of Leviathan (Alabas in memoriam)
  10. The otherness od being

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Black Metal

CD review NIGHTBRINGER "Ego dominus tuus"
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CD review SEPTICFLESH "Titan"

Veröffentlicht am 5. September 2014 von Markus W. in Septicflesh, Death Metal, Dimmu Borgir, CD Review, Symphonic Metal, Black Metal, Dark Metal, News

(9/10) That death metal does't need to be reduced to growls and simple blastbeats is something which is proven by Septicflesh.

What re-started again after the reunion and followed by "The great mass" in 2011 finds its next step in the latest release of the guys from Greece. With "Titan" they pick up the Greece mythology again and created an excellent album around the topic. Titans stand for the force of nature and that is what describes the album best. I think the four musicians couldn't have chosen a better title for their ninth studio record.

As said in the beginning "Titan" is more than just a death metal album. It is an excellent hybrid between death metal, rock and classic. An important pillar for this is guitarist Christos Antoniou. It seems that the six stringer, who has passed his study of classical composition put everything he learnt into "Titan". 

The way how brutal metal parts go hand in hand with dramatic orchestrated classic elements is outstanding. What sounds sometimes so forced with bands like Dimmu Borgir (don't get me wrong; I like their stuff) feels so natural with Septicflesh. It's not that those very different kinds of music are competing. It is more that they complement each other. A good example for this is the more than five minutes long "Prototype" or the title track "Titan". Cherry on the cake with this song is the choir parts which are embedded in this tune. Very well done.

Another highlight of the album is "Burn". This beast starts almost like a Sisters Of Mercy song, before the heavy riff and the blastbeat takes over. What I like with the track is the almost hypnotical chorus - 'burn, burn, burn'. Wow, cool stuff - or better 'hot stuff'. Not to forget another highlight called "Confession of a serial killer". Again a quite fast tune with some interesting breaks, including some female siren-like vocals in the middle part.

"Titan" is for me a real titan in death metal and should be also checked by metalheads that might not really pefer death metal. The album offeres so much musical capabilities and finesse that it is a pleasure to listen to it. It's 46 minutes of dramatic music that is the accoustic equivalent to an expressionist painting. One of the most surprising, daring, oppresive and innovative albums this year. Respect.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. War in heaven
  2. Burn
  3. Order of dracul
  4. Prototype
  5. Dogma
  6. Prometheus
  7. Titan
  8. Confessions of a serial killer
  9. Ground zero
  10. The first immortal

 

Label Season Of Mist
Genre: Death Metal

CD review SEPTICFLESH "Titan"
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