Sound — 10
You know, it seems like every time a band adds or removes something from their previous album, maybe shifts focus, some of their 'hardcore' fans instantly have a fit. Abrahadabra is an album that really seems to bring that sort of attitude out of Dimmu Borgir fans. Every time I check the latest YouTube comments. Saying they're not "black metal" anymore or "death metal" anymore. My question throughout the years has always been: Why does everyone have to focus on the genre? Can we just listen to the record and appreciate what it is artistically and enjoy it? This album, although a bit of a different venture from their previous efforts, I feel is in line with what this band has been planning to do for years, and is a logical step forward from In Sorte Diaboli. Their various albums over the years have always had some synth in it, some sound effects now and then, and had some clean vocals at all the right moments for good measure. It made for a really well rounded band, that I thought evolved each album. I think one of the biggest challenges a band has to overcome is moving forward, but being true enough to your roots where you don't forget what made you famous. In this case, I think Dimmu Borgir did a great job finding a balance. I've pointed out that some of their efforts seem like a continuous experience rather than an album with separate tracks. If there ever was a Metal Opera, this would be it. This would be a Cirque De Soleil that I'd pay to see. From what I hear, the band hired on 101 different musicians to collaborate with them, taking in an entire choir, an orchestra, and getting some help with other famous arists around the world including but not limited to King Diamon and Snowy Shaw. To sum it all up, this album is a journey worth taking over, and over, and over. What a great way to start October, the darkest month of the year in New England.
Lyrics — 8
The title of the album is Abrahadabra, which roughly translates to "I Create as I Speak". It's mystical sounding for sure, and it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect when you read the lyrics booklet. My favorite tracks on the record are probably going to be 'Ritualist' and 'Ending and Continuations', the last track on the album, which I think was the best choice (not just because of the title) for the final track. I really enjoy the message it gives off. It's simple when you read it for what it is, but it's worded nicer than simply saying 'Stop living a sheltered existence, expand your mind and your life.' Instead, they use the words: Flee the cage of insecurity Enter the supreme unknown Expand the inner and outer horizon For it is as obvious as it is shown Seeing - Evolving Willing - Achieving Beyond the next worlds Are some of the lyrics ho-hum? Yeah. I think 'Gateways' probably could have used some work as an example, although it's still a beautiful arrangement, especially towards the end of the song where the girls clean vocal chorus kick in. The band gets their messages across without being stale. That's hard to do after so many albums. Kudos.
Overall Impression — 9
One of the best albums I've heard this year, easily. I think the only bad part about this album is that I want more. They always leave you wanting more. But I'll be the first to tell you I'm looking forward to more material, and I was more than willing to shell out the very small amount of money this album cost me. $8 at Best Buy. Honestly I sometimes hear some similar melodies and sounds to those that you'd find in songs by the fictional band Dethklok or in Destroyer 666's latest effort, but that's par for the course considering they share the same genre. I'd most certainly buy the album again if it came to it, but I'll most likely put the physical disc away in my room somewhere now that I have it in digital form on my iPod & iTunes list. Great job Dimmu Borgir, great job.