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Dimmu Borgir: In Sorte Diaboli

When you translate In Sorte Diaboli, from its Latin origins you are left with the meaning "a faithful connectivity with Satan" and this brings us to the newest release by Norway's Dimmu Borgir. The recording is the bands very first concept album ever and with it they bring to life to story of an apprentice Priest who lived in the times of medieval Europe. The main premise of the story is that the apprentice eventually finds himself dissatisfied with the doctrines of Christianity and hence begins his journey into darker and more sinister realms of belief. As you can imagine the storyline falls right in place with that which Dimmu excels at delivering in their own unique fashion. The epic release is loaded with the expected dramatics and thundering power as one will often find in their music and it begins right away with "The Serpentine Offering" which sets up the apprentice's descent in to the Dark Side. Musically this is as sound as what we loved most on Death Cult Armageddon and the redone Stormblast and it truly shows that as a band they are moving farther away from the pure Black Metal style to deliver more Symphonic and Technically proficient stuff that is rooted in this genres basics. This idea becomes most apparent in the extended use of Vortex and his clean vocals and the beautiful and lush keyboards of Mustis. Shagrath is of course as imposing as one would usually find him to be as he growls through this dark tale and this seems to come off easier with the powerful guitars of Silenoz and Galder who are all held together by the blistering drum work of Hellhammer. His presence is excellent to hear and I'm hoping he remains in the lineup of the group. At this stage there are probably few "old school" Black Metal fans that are even following them but the sales of their last few releases prove that new worlds of listeners are on board. The band has matured, shown growth and that experimentation with ones style offers them limitless possibility. The tale is gripping and should instill levels of fear in the belief system of the most devout (a true Dimmu skill). Bonus tracks abound on the varied editions of this release as well as a detailed storyline which makes for interesting reading. Rise Disciples of the Darkness for Dimmu Borgir has returned to guide you further along into the cold abyss.

Track Listing
1. The Serpentine Offering
2. The Chosen Legacy
3. The Conspiracy Unfolds
4. The Sacrilegious Scorn
5. The Fallen Arises
6. The Sinister Awakening
7. The Fundamental Alienation
8. The Invaluable Darkness
9. The Foreshadowing Furnace
10. The Heretic Hammer - bonus

Added: May 2nd 2007
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Dimmu Borgir Website
Hits: 12466
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Dimmu Borgir: In Sorte Diaboli
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-05-02 14:17:19
My Score:

After the opening marriage of beauty and brutality that is "The Serpentine Offering", it's apparent that Dimmu Borgir are back with a vengeance. After their remake of Stormblast was met with mixed opinions, the band probably felt they needed to make a big impression on their follow-up to Death Cult Armageddon, and by all accounts they certainly have here on In Sorte Diaboli. This is Dimmu Borgir's first ever full-blown concept album, and it's an interesting one (the band gives you background on the whole story in the CD booklet), with music as dramatic and bombastic as the story is outrageous. While some argue over the legitimacy of whether Dimmu or truly black metal these days, there's no denying that this is geniune extreme metal. Songs like "The Chosen Legacy", "The Heretic Hammer", and "The Fundamental Alienation" all crackle with aggression and symphonic power, the perfect example of progressive black metal for lack of a better term. Shagrath's vocals drip with venom (check him out on the rampaging "The Conspiracy Unfolds") throughout the CD, occasionally giving way to the clean melodic passages from bassist Vortex. The presence of Hellhammer adds plenty of thundering blast beats to the mix, and add in the orchestral keyboards of Mustis and the dual guitar attack of Silenoz & Galder, and you have one lethal metal machine.

Though the album is perhaps less symphonic from a keyboard perspective than Death Cult Armageddon, Mustis adds that epic element that is always evident in the music of Dimmu Borgir. Overall, this is a very entertaining album that is intelligent, well played, and just a savagely delicious offering from these Norwegian titans.

Dimmu Borgir: In Sorte Diaboli
Posted by Ken Sanford, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-04-22 19:50:26
My Score:

A great concept CD should grab you and immerse you within itself; hold on to you and take you on a journey, a journey once ended you wish to travel again and again. Dimmu Borgir's In Sorte Diaboli does just that as it tells the story of a young Priest's assistant, who over time begins to have an awakening within himself. He starts to realize his abilities may be better suited toward following more of a "dark path", rather than that of Christianity. As with any art form you need to absorb and interpret it for yourself, which in turn will make it the most gratifying for you. Musically In Sorte Diaboli is prodigious and complex. There are moments that are dark, sinister, and brutal; as well as moments that are eerie, atmospheric and beautiful. Vocally, Shagrath is at his commanding best, telling the tale and guiding you on this journey; while Vortex is absolutely majestic when used in different roles vocally at key points throughout. Silenoz and Galder, as usual, are at the top of their game with their guitar work, while black metal legend Hellhammer reigns with thunderous fury down on the drum kit. Musically the whole recording is exceptional, but the real standout is the keyboard work of Mustis. Throughout the journey he holds everything together and sets the mood. He perpetually paints the picture for the listener, and continuously breathes life into the music.

Whether a concept CD or not, any great CD must have one obvious key ingredient, great songs. In Sorte Diaboli has just that. From the opener "The Serpentine Offering", to "The Sinister Awakening", to the ending of "The Foreshadowing Furnace" the band gets you in their clutches and take you on this epic journey; one you will want to experience again and again. In Sorte Diaboli is best described as a masterpiece. Dimmu have taken it to the next level.

The limited-edition North American digi pak features the bonus track "The Heretic Hammer" as track #6, which is the version reviewed here.

» Reader Comments:

Dimmu Borgir: In Sorte Diaboli
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2007-04-28 07:24:31
My Score:

Let me set the record straight...

1. This recording is not as orchestral and sounds less like a soundtrack for the next Nazi resurgence.
2. The production has more midrange and treble to emulate, but not duplicate a black metal production.
3. The content of the lyrics is more in line with Black metal content.
4. The cover art, although unoriginal, is TRYING to be "kvlt"
5. In the dvd Galder is wearing a Bathory t-shirt. Do I need to say anymore?
6. The drumming of Hellhammer is repetitive, deliberate and edited together
7. Every song begins with "THE"

This is a good cd and I was glad to see that they toned down the sound and samples, while cutting off some fat off the length. These 70 minute pieces of garbage are starting to irritate me.

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