For a band that regularly pumped out one winner after another pretty consistently from 1995's For All Tid through to 2010's Abrahadabra (though most will agree that was the weakest of their canon), it's taken the mighty Norwegian black metal masters eights years to come out with Eonian, their latest slab of symphonic extreme metal. Was it worth the wait? Well, for some, Eonian is going to be another perfectly crafted, melodic, orchestral, epic sounding take on the atmospheric black metal style, though truth be told, there's little of the traditional black metal style to be found here, other than the occasional blast beat from Daray and of course Shagrath's menacing, evil rasps. Gerlioz is without a doubt the star of Eonian, his sweeping, bombastic keyboards & synths permeating every track in a big way, inching Dimmu closer to Nightwish or Epica territory than, well, classic Dimmu Borgir. I mean, Dimmu has always had that big symphonic edge to their music, but here on Eonian its so over the top to the point that it relegates guitarists Galder & Silenoz to supporting character positions.
That being said, the arrangements of Eonian are just so perfectly constructed and orchestral that it's impossible to ignore. "Ă†theric", "Interdimensional Summit", and "The Empyrean Phoenix" are just so damn bombastic and HUGE sounding that it's easy to just get swept away by it all. "Lightbringer" contains some ferocious passages that remind everyone that Dimmu at their core are a black metal band, as does parts of the brutal "Alpha Aeon Omega", but for the most part, Eonian is much more a symphonic metal album for those who don't care much for black metal. Not necessarily a bad thing to many, but those who crave the sounds of 'true Norwegian black metal' probably need to stay far, far away from this one.
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01. The Unveiling
02. Interdimensional Summit
04. Council Of Wolves And Snakes
05. The Empyrean Phoenix
07. I Am Sovereign
08. Archaic Correspondence
09. Alpha Aeon Omega
10. Rite Of Passage