Sound — 10
On Dimmu Borgir's latest offering Death Cult Armageddon, they have really pushed the envelope for extreme Black Metal but are still be able to keep it tight and cohesive. With the open track Allegiance, they draw you in with a creepy percussive sample and then slowly build it with some great guitar and synthesizer overtones. Then almost instantaneously it kicks in full force into a fast and furious gallop led by Nicholas Barker's killer double bass drums. Right from this track the standard is set through the rest of the album as you go through the powerful Progenies of The Great Apocalypse (a standout track) with it's killer orchestral breakdown and the amazing buildup of Blood Hunger Doctrine with it's arppegiated guitar intro or the almost quirky upbeat beginnings of Eradication Instincts Defined.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics of this album were primarily written priamrily by guitarist Silenoz, and even though they tend to lean towards the Death/Black metal cliches of the apocalypse, satanism and war overall singer Shagrath does an excellent delivery of keeping them from sounding cheesy, in fact sometimes it can be down right scary. Also the use of bassist Vortex to deliver some very impressive clean passages really helps this album and band standout from the rest of the Black/Death metal genre.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I would have to say that this is Dimmu Borgir's best album to date and definetly puts them at the head of the genre with such bands as Cradle of Filth and Children of Bodom. The orchestral overtones throughout the entire album really help to give it a melodic cohesiveness that is missing from alot the genre as a whole. It was definetely one of the best metal albums of 2003 or of the past few years and renews my faith and hope in the metal that is starting to come up through the underground scenes around the world. I am mostly definetely looking forward to their next effort and hope that I will be able to catch them on tour.