Abrahadbra review by Dimmu Borgir

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  • Released: Sep 22, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.4 (47 votes)
Dimmu Borgir: Abrahadbra
1

Sound — 8
Dimmu Borgirs' ninth studio album is an ambitious project in scale and scope which the band pulls off with equal parts brutality, and dare I say beauty? Firstly I'm not a fan of the Black Metal genre as a whole, it never did anything for me so my expectations were low from the start. But this album delivers from the entertainment and musical side of the field. Its huge firstly, the bands' sound is monstrous and couple that with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum choir this album utilizes over 100 muscians and singers! Its an overwhelming thought when you think just how they kept their vision while writing these parts. Great performances all around here with all sides to involved seeming just to understand each other.

Lyrics — 7
Shagrath gives a very impressive performance here, full of emotion and venom coupled with the odd clean vocals on a few songs gives a nice counter point. Guest vocals on the single Gateways from Agnete Kjlsrud are very interesting and give the song another angle. The chorus' though can get stale after a couple songs into the album because they seem to follow a formula of just chanting or repeating the song title.

Overall Impression — 8
I love this album, the energy, the aggression and the sheer quality of the songs. The Orchestra sounds amazing and their work is sometimes the best parts of the songs, not to take away from the band itself who crafted the music. It's not just a Black Metal album or a Dimmu Borgir album it in my eyes is a bench mark for following symphonic albums to be measured against. Very solid, hugely entertaining and musically satisfying, get this album.

51 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EpiExplorer
    Death Cult Armageddon with better production and more melody but a bad use of actual singers and Snowy Shaw (who I think you mistook for Shagrath who CANT sing) does nothing but make me wish ICS Vortex was back again. Also, Gateways is a boring song and Agnete sounds like a stabbed baby. Also the review is awful. Too short and doesn't even mention the inclusion of Shaw.
    The chorus' though can get stale after a couple songs into the album because they seem to follow a formula of just chanting or repeating the song title
    Thats how black metal has worked for years.
    rokkit
    Echoplex wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: krvolok wrote: Nice for Dimmu Borgir ,but nowhere close to IX Equilibrium,which is unsurpassed.Emperor,of course are in a league of their own. I've been listening to them all morning just cuz. Prefer Prometheus but both albums are grand. CURSE YOU ALL MEN! But anyway, my two favorite members of Dimmu were kicked out, so I probably won't listen to this.
    actually, they left by themselves
    Im_Broken
    Mr Winters wrote: ZombieDuck : Uh, am I alone when I don't classify Dimmu Borgir as black metal. I mean, they make great music, but not black metal. Idk, I think metal has too many subgenres.. They are black metal. More symphonic and melodic, but they are black metal. I'm not a big fan of the genre, but I'm gonna check this
    they're symphonic black metal. y0uz are nubz.
    Hells.Mascot
    EpiExplorer wrote: BlackSymphony6 wrote: Dimmu borgir are not really black metal anymore, and haven't been for years. Still, thats not necessarily a bad thing. I'm quite impressed with what I've heard of this so far, it seems that being trimmed down to a three-piece (+guests) has given the band a shot in the arm, and they've upped their game a bit. ..Perhaps its blindingly obvious, but they have been black metal ever since they were spawned from satans vagina. Where does anyone get the idea that they're not BM? o.0 Yes, so they had Vortex but Emperor had Ihasahn and yet they're still BM no matter what naysayers may think. Symphonics is good in black metal because it actually works. If I were to make a BM song, I'd over dub 'The rites of spring'.
    But there is the school of thought that says the more minimalist black metal is, the truer it is. Black metal elitists would say that they're not black metal, because symphonic black metal is not black metal at all. When you listen to black metal, I would think symphonic keyboards are nice but you don't want to feel like you're on a Star Wars mission.
    krvolok
    there is the school of thought that says the more minimalist black metal is, the truer it is
    That school of "thought" was invented by a bunch of 16 year olds who were too afraid to disturb the scene by actually developing a sound of their own.There is little individualism in uniform BM.
    EpiExplorer
    Hells.Mascot wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: BlackSymphony6 wrote: Dimmu borgir are not really black metal anymore, and haven't been for years. Still, thats not necessarily a bad thing. I'm quite impressed with what I've heard of this so far, it seems that being trimmed down to a three-piece (+guests) has given the band a shot in the arm, and they've upped their game a bit. ..Perhaps its blindingly obvious, but they have been black metal ever since they were spawned from satans vagina. Where does anyone get the idea that they're not BM? o.0 Yes, so they had Vortex but Emperor had Ihasahn and yet they're still BM no matter what naysayers may think. Symphonics is good in black metal because it actually works. If I were to make a BM song, I'd over dub 'The rites of spring'. But there is the school of thought that says the more minimalist black metal is, the truer it is. Black metal elitists would say that they're not black metal, because symphonic black metal is not black metal at all. When you listen to black metal, I would think symphonic keyboards are nice but you don't want to feel like you're on a Star Wars mission.
    We'll leave that to Voivod, lulz. But still, I've always thought BM sounded better as a grand orchestrated peice rather than two loners in facepaint and a Roland microcube.
    Timo9500
    SHUT UP ABOUT THEM BEING BLACK METAL OR NOT BEING BLACK METAL. Albums not to bad, not that big a fan of Dimmu though. So just talk about the album or whatever, dont be retards and comment "Wahhh, theyre not black metal!"
    Offworld92
    Am I alone in thinking that the guest vocals in Gateways are the highlight of the song? I mean, I don't know why everybody hates them... Yeah she sounds like a dying cat, and I think that's the most ****ing awesome thing ever. I can't get enough of it. But since I actually listen to a great diversity of music, I guess I'm not tr00 enough to be right or have a valid opinion. >_>
    EpiExplorer
    Offworld92 wrote: Am I alone in thinking that the guest vocals in Gateways are the highlight of the song? I mean, I don't know why everybody hates them... Yeah she sounds like a dying cat, and I think that's the most ****ing awesome thing ever. I can't get enough of it. But since I actually listen to a great diversity of music, I guess I'm not tr00 enough to be right or have a valid opinion. >_>
    You're actually just bitching like a bitchy bitch.
    zirkonflex
    Terror Panda wrote: zirkonflex : you sure you spelled that title right ? gonna take a listen soon, but im expecting crap. last album was awesome, but I think they cant pull that of again. The title is spelt that way hahah and nah man seriously i was inlove with In Sorte Diaboli but nah dude they do AMAZING on this album Born Treacherous gives an amazing feel its super heavy and stuff and i just dont get bored man its great
    Actually not, the title is completely wrong. The album is oviously called Abrahadbra.
    kamjam7
    xicetraex wrote: Lol.. what a lame album name
    It has to do with Thelema, which is a modern religion worshipping ancient Egyptian gods/goddesses. I did a little research about it earlier (pretty interesting), but i don't remember all of it.
    Sakke wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Death Cult Armageddon with better production and more melody but a bad use of actual singers and Snowy Shaw (who I think you mistook for Shagrath who CANT sing) does nothing but make me wish ICS Vortex was back again. Also, Gateways is a boring song and Agnete sounds like a stabbed baby. Also the review is awful. Too short and doesn't even mention the inclusion of Shaw. The chorus' though can get stale after a couple songs into the album because they seem to follow a formula of just chanting or repeating the song title Thats how black metal has worked for years. Yeah, I miss ICS Vortex already...
    +1 Vortex was great with them even though it changed their sound a lot, EVERY line he ever sang for them was gold. Borknagar better come up with some good stuff for hi
    drawnacrol wrote: This album is ****ing incredible, I'm a huge dimmu fan but just couldn't get into the last album but this is just incredible
    I trust your opinion most. I didn't like in sorte as much mainly cause it wasn't as... harsh as other albums, but had great parts. sounds like it's not an issue this time round. will listen soon.
    zirkonflex
    zirkonflex wrote: Terror Panda wrote: zirkonflex : you sure you spelled that title right ? gonna take a listen soon, but im expecting crap. last album was awesome, but I think they cant pull that of again. The title is spelt that way hahah and nah man seriously i was inlove with In Sorte Diaboli but nah dude they do AMAZING on this album Born Treacherous gives an amazing feel its super heavy and stuff and i just dont get bored man its great Actually not, the title is completely wrong. The album is oviously called Abrahadbra.
    zirkonflex wrote: Terror Panda wrote: zirkonflex : you sure you spelled that title right ? gonna take a listen soon, but im expecting crap. last album was awesome, but I think they cant pull that of again. The title is spelt that way hahah and nah man seriously i was inlove with In Sorte Diaboli but nah dude they do AMAZING on this album Born Treacherous gives an amazing feel its super heavy and stuff and i just dont get bored man its great Actually not, the title is completely wrong. The album is oviously called Abrahadbra.
    zirkonflex wrote: Terror Panda wrote: zirkonflex : you sure you spelled that title right ? gonna take a listen soon, but im expecting crap. last album was awesome, but I think they cant pull that of again. The title is spelt that way hahah and nah man seriously i was inlove with In Sorte Diaboli but nah dude they do AMAZING on this album Born Treacherous gives an amazing feel its super heavy and stuff and i just dont get bored man its great Actually not, the title is completely wrong. The album is oviously called Abrahadabra.
    EpiExplorer
    zirkonflex wrote: Terror Panda wrote: zirkonflex : you sure you spelled that title right ? gonna take a listen soon, but im expecting crap. last album was awesome, but I think they cant pull that of again. The title is spelt that way hahah and nah man seriously i was inlove with In Sorte Diaboli but nah dude they do AMAZING on this album Born Treacherous gives an amazing feel its super heavy and stuff and i just dont get bored man its great Actually not, the title is completely wrong. The album is oviously called Abrahadbra.
    PAH, I never noticed till now that he left out the 4th a.. AbrahadAbra.
    colm c
    HAHA i did spell it wrong! Sorry ladies and Gents Abrahadabra! Thanks to UG for catching that mistake!
    randomucker
    Dimmu Borgir is just an extremely symphonic black metal band. They definitely can't be referred to as just black metal, as there is a huge difference between what Dimmu Borgir does in comparison to say, gorgoroth, mayhem, 1349 just to name a few, who are all pure black metal.
    EpiExplorer
    Chozodragon wrote: Deplorable wrote: jibran wrote: Abracadabra! Alakazam! Abra :3
    ...Kaaaaabutops.
    Brutalious
    Trve Black Metal fans getting butthurt that people call Dimmu Black Metal. Haha. I don't consider this new album to be Black Metal, but everything else they have done, definitely is.
    mtllica
    Love this album. Much better than In Sorte Diaboli. Snowy is inferior to Vortex. But, I think the departure of both Mustis and Vortex was needed, they did not make or break the band, they are NOT the band. I'm sick of people expecting another EDT, its not going to happen, this is what Dimmu Borgir has chosen to do, either deal with it or stop listening. I'm sick of hearing about it.
    RickSorius
    Am I the only one who dislikes this album a lot? I mean, in my opinion, it, it sucks.
    mydian
    Now if they would just ditch Galder and get Shagrath playing lead guitar again like the old days, before Vortex, before Mustis.. when this band was really good. I like Dimmu so I'll get the album but they been going down-hill since Enthroned Darkness Triumphant. I hated Vortex's singing.. guess I'm the only one. And to whine about Mustis who cares? He just played keyboards and contributed nothing to the band.
    Charlie4
    I've said this before, Vortex made Dimmu big with Progenies...now their becoming more like the rest imo. I'll check this out.
    krvolok
    Nice for Dimmu Borgir ,but nowhere close to IX Equilibrium,which is unsurpassed.Emperor,of course are in a league of their own.
    Lion_Slicer
    ZombieDuck wrote: Uh, am I alone when I don't classify Dimmu Borgir as black metal. I mean, they make great music, but not black metal. Idk, I think metal has too many subgenres..
    Maybe it wouldn't if you didn't feel the need to "classify" everything so specifically? Arguing semantics is far less fun than just listening to great music. The review could have been a bit more specific though. I feel like everything you said could apply to any Dimmu Borgir album: huge sound, guest vocals, great symphonics, stale choruses... I'd like to know what sets apart this album from In Sorte Diaboli et al. Still going to get this as soon as possible, I have a good feeling about this one.
    EpiExplorer
    krvolok wrote: Nice for Dimmu Borgir ,but nowhere close to IX Equilibrium,which is unsurpassed.Emperor,of course are in a league of their own.
    I've been listening to them all morning just cuz. Prefer Prometheus but both albums are grand.
    Echoplex
    EpiExplorer wrote: krvolok wrote: Nice for Dimmu Borgir ,but nowhere close to IX Equilibrium,which is unsurpassed.Emperor,of course are in a league of their own. I've been listening to them all morning just cuz. Prefer Prometheus but both albums are grand.
    CURSE YOU ALL MEN! But anyway, my two favorite members of Dimmu were kicked out, so I probably won't listen to this.
    zirkonflex
    you sure you spelled that title right ? gonna take a listen soon, but im expecting crap. last album was awesome, but I think they cant pull that of again.
    Terror Panda
    zirkonflex : you sure you spelled that title right ? gonna take a listen soon, but im expecting crap. last album was awesome, but I think they cant pull that of again.
    The title is spelt that way hahah and nah man seriously i was inlove with In Sorte Diaboli but nah dude they do AMAZING on this album Born Treacherous gives an amazing feel its super heavy and stuff and i just dont get bored man its great
    ZombieDuck
    Uh, am I alone when I don't classify Dimmu Borgir as black metal. I mean, they make great music, but not black metal. Idk, I think metal has too many subgenres..
    Mr Winters
    ZombieDuck : Uh, am I alone when I don't classify Dimmu Borgir as black metal. I mean, they make great music, but not black metal. Idk, I think metal has too many subgenres..
    They are black metal. More symphonic and melodic, but they are black metal. I'm not a big fan of the genre, but I'm gonna check this
    colm c
    I knew it was Snowy Shaw but he's a session guy and only singing very briefly. I mainly reviewed Shagraths vocals.
    colm c
    EpiExplorer wrote: Death Cult Armageddon with better production and more melody but a bad use of actual singers and Snowy Shaw (who I think you mistook for Shagrath who CANT sing) does nothing but make me wish ICS Vortex was back again. Also, Gateways is a boring song and Agnete sounds like a stabbed baby. Also the review is awful. Too short and doesn't even mention the inclusion of Shaw. The chorus' though can get stale after a couple songs into the album because they seem to follow a formula of just chanting or repeating the song title Thats how black metal has worked for years.
    I vaguely remember you telling a lad who said one of your reviews sucked to eat a turd... Thanks for the comment though! Really makes you seem like the hypocrite you are.
    Raven_Flight
    Uhh, didn't like the rewiew. But I agree that this album is good Better than the two previous ones. The orchestra sounds awesome.
    Jøhnny
    I really like this album! It's a huge improvement and much better than the three previous albums.
    colm c
    Thanks for the feedback. I'll take it on board with my future reviews.
    krvolok
    There is no comparison with the symphonic BM band in the review,which could greatly clarify the album's sound.
    Colter
    I only got to listen to the whole album once or twice but it was pretty awsome and everytime i listen to gateways or born treachorous it gets better
    krvolok
    in my eyes is a bench mark for following symphonic albums to be measured against
    wow...I mean wow...epic fail.
    FrauVfromPoB
    Gateways was not at all what I expected, but it was fully awesome. I want this album.
    Sakke
    EpiExplorer wrote: Death Cult Armageddon with better production and more melody but a bad use of actual singers and Snowy Shaw (who I think you mistook for Shagrath who CANT sing) does nothing but make me wish ICS Vortex was back again. Also, Gateways is a boring song and Agnete sounds like a stabbed baby. Also the review is awful. Too short and doesn't even mention the inclusion of Shaw. The chorus' though can get stale after a couple songs into the album because they seem to follow a formula of just chanting or repeating the song title Thats how black metal has worked for years.
    Yeah, I miss ICS Vortex already...
    whaip
    Mr Winters wrote: ZombieDuck : Uh, am I alone when I don't classify Dimmu Borgir as black metal. I mean, they make great music, but not black metal. Idk, I think metal has too many subgenres.. They are black metal. More symphonic and melodic, but they are black metal. I'm not a big fan of the genre, but I'm gonna check this
    the newer dimmu has more in common with melodic death than black metal.
    BlackSymphony6
    Dimmu borgir are not really black metal anymore, and haven't been for years. Still, thats not necessarily a bad thing. I'm quite impressed with what I've heard of this so far, it seems that being trimmed down to a three-piece (+guests) has given the band a shot in the arm, and they've upped their game a bit.
    drawnacrol
    This album is ****ing incredible, I'm a huge dimmu fan but just couldn't get into the last album but this is just incredible
    EpiExplorer
    BlackSymphony6 wrote: Dimmu borgir are not really black metal anymore, and haven't been for years. Still, thats not necessarily a bad thing. I'm quite impressed with what I've heard of this so far, it seems that being trimmed down to a three-piece (+guests) has given the band a shot in the arm, and they've upped their game a bit.
    ..Perhaps its blindingly obvious, but they have been black metal ever since they were spawned from satans vagina. Where does anyone get the idea that they're not BM? o.0 Yes, so they had Vortex but Emperor had Ihasahn and yet they're still BM no matter what naysayers may think. Symphonics is good in black metal because it actually works. If I were to make a BM song, I'd over dub 'The rites of spring'.