Sound — 9
Dimmu in my mind is head and shoulders above their cookie-monster and keyboard toting contemporaries (i.e. Cradle Of Filth). The use of the Norwegian Philharmonic Orchestra (I believe thats correct) gives a strong sense of epicism and drama and atmosphere to the music. The guitars aren't too complicated but very effective and heavy. Lots of tremelo picking, palm muting, big power chords. To me, even as a guitarist, the standout member is Nicholas Barker. His drumming is virtuosic (i.e. "For The World To Dictate Our Death") but always seems to click with everything else perfectly. DCA is a black/death metal album, but it employs some classical elements such as the use of piano in "Blood Hunger Doctrine." The overall sound is heavily atmospheric, and dark.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics mostly are written in the realm of analysis/criticism of religion, Satan and dark powers that be, Apocalypse, evil fantasy, things of that nature. Silenoz and Shagrath are good songwriters but its nothing that hasn't been done before. However, their passion for the music shows through and breathes life into a cliched genre. In reference to their actual voices, Shagrath seems to be more in the higher range and he does his job very well. Silenoz is much lower in the register, and many times the two will sing in tandem making for a cool contrasting effect. Also, bassist Vortex adds some clean vocals which I personally think could've been left out because they take the epic level to cheesy at some point.
Overall Impression — 8
DCA is a very good album in many respects. The production is crystal clear, which is a stark contrast to the muddy recordings of Dimmu's fellow black/death metal bands. The dynamics and uses of the orchestra especially are superb. The percussion and drums are obviously amazing. Everybody knows their role and they play it well. Although overall I prefer their previous release, this has many shining moments and is not a CD or band to be ignored.