Dimmu Borgir: Not A 'Pure' Black Metal Band

Frontman Shagrath tells all in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune.

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Norwegian symphonic metal act Dimmu Borgir is not a pure black metal band, the group's frontman recently said.

In an interview conducted by Allison Stewart of the Chicago Tribune, frontman Shagrath (real name Stian Tomt Thoresen), told the paper that Dimmu Borgir did not invent the symphonic black metal genre, as some think, and that the group is not a pure black metal act.

We've always been a band that incorporated symphonics into our music, he said. We've never been a pure black metal band. But the band Emperor was doing that stuff before we did, so we can't take credit.

Further, Shagrath, whose name stems from the demonic Orc from Lord of the Rings, answered a number of other questions. One of which was what is it about Norway that allows so many black metal bands to flourish?

Mainly it's a way of thinking. It could be environment, he said. We live in a very dark country where we have a lot of snow. It's a small country but a lot of bands are able to think outside the box, and not be copycats.

Lastly, Shagrath was asked to explain why he believes Dimmu Borgir is the best black metal group out there. He answered with great strength.

Why we are the best? Dimmu Borgir is a band that sticks out from the masses in the world of underground music, he said. We incorporate a lot of different stuff, everything from classic music to heavy metal, thrash metal, black metal, death metal. No matter what kind of music you like, you're always able to find something in our music. We also have our visual side, something more theatrical, more interesting.

For a full transcript of the interview, check out the Chicago Tribune page.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Wow, I think Shagrath is totally correct here... Dimmu Borgir is definitely not "pure" in the "kvlt" sense... which is okay with me, I honestly think that kind of approach to writing/producing (Darkthone's answering machine in a forest method) just to have that image is a bit silly. I much prefer bands that don't feel bad about expanding horizons, incorporating other styles, and appealing to different audiences. There's a giant gray area between that kind of growth and what some people may see as "selling out" so that's a part of why Dimmu Borgir isn't considered "pure" black metal. Everything he listed is indeed what makes them stand out. I don't know if I'd say they're the best but they're up there, and certainly the most successful. Their new album is pretty awesome too, a definite step above In Sorte Diaboli. Born Treacherous is one of their best songs in ages.
    Dimmu Borgir: Not A 'Pure' Black Metal Band
    My 4 year old sister could have worked out that much.
    I'm listening to Gorgoroth's Destroyer Or About How To Philosophize With The Hammer while reading this. I think we already knew that Dimmu was slightly off the pure Black Metal mark. They're pretty average. I do like them (especially the theatrics). The Sacreligious Scorn was a hilarious video. I'd say Gorgoroth, Satyricon and old Behemoth are still the best Black Metal. I'd say Burzum but I think I remember him trying to distance himself from the title.
    Everyone and their dog knows that Dimmu isnt pure black metal. You have to burn down a church or kill someone in order to be "real" black metal ahaha
    Wtf! He thinks they're the best black metal group? No matter if he's wrong or not; what an arrogant fella!
    DIII 503
    It was obvious from the beginning that Dimmu Borgir is not a "pure" black metal band. j_link13 : Everyone and their dog knows that Dimmu isnt pure black metal. You have to burn down a church or kill someone in order to be "real" black metal ahaha I don't quite agree with that. I'd say some of the bands burned down churches. There are several pure black metal bands who thought that the church burnings shouldn't have occured.
    j_link13 wrote: Everyone and their dog knows that Dimmu isnt pure black metal. You have to burn down a church or kill someone in order to be "real" black metal ahaha
    no, you'd have to be a narcissistic, sociopathic ****-head like Varg or Gaahl to burn churches or kill people. Abbath is real black metal and he doesn't burn churches. Quorthon helped CREATE black metal, and he never burned churches or killed anyone
    At least shagrath admits that Dimmu werent the first symphonic black metal band...that was emperor witch is the best black metal band ever. I think they are the best Symphonic BM band out now. Which there isnt much competition being in the same genre as COF.