In Sorte Diaboli review by Dimmu Borgir

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  • Released: Apr 24, 2007
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9 (136 votes)
Dimmu Borgir: In Sorte Diaboli
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Sound — 8
It seems like a new fashion among metal bands now is to record concept albums, telling you some story instead of just a few songs with scary words. After Manowar released their Gods Of War earlier this year, Norway black metalists Dimmu Borgir are ready hit the charts with their opus album In Sorte Diaboli. It is a well-known fact that the best metal is created in the North part of Europe, so the guys just couldn't go wrong recording in Fredman Studios in Sweden with a Swedish producer Fredrik Nordstrm. This is Dimmu Borgir's eighth album and the first new material in four years (after Death Cult Armageddon in 2003). The epic part of the CD carries an intricate story about a priest's assistant that suddenly understands he belongs to the dark side. The first single of the album and its opener The Serpentine Offering with the orchestral intro gives you an idea of what the album is about. You won't be bored listening to In Sorte Diaboli as things change so fast here, just be quick enough to follow. The songs are complex and it might take a while to realize what's going on. The band tried to make the album sound as close to a theatre play as possible. There's occasional piano that pretty much sounds like an ancient clarinet and of course they couldn't avoid a dramatic voice that reads the text. The record is also rich for different sounds to draw a vivid picture in your mind like bells, fire burning, people walking. Dimmu Borgir are known for their melodic metal, but that feature appear as sudden as it disappear. Most songs consist of two parts -- brutal and melodic and this change doesn't always sound organic, more often these are two different pieces. Some tracks even feature a catchy riffs and melodies -- like The Sacrilegious Scorn. The Fallen Arises could well be played at somebody's funerals, just take away the neighing horses. This is the only peaceful track among the fury of the record.

Lyrics — 7
The album carries a huge intense and most of it goes from the lyrics and vocals. Vocalist Shagrath growls throaty, more often speaking than actually singing. His screamo is diluted by Vortex's chorals on the background. The lyrics' quality is somewhere in between the singing poetry and well-written tale. It's better than most things we usually hear in the songs, but still nothing close to a good story from a book.

Overall Impression — 8
In my very own opinion the metal genre is running dry (let angry metal fans tear me into pieces in the comments). There are already quite a few bands on the scene that have guitarists playing incredibly fast, drummers shooting like machine-guns and vocalists screaming like devil incarnates. All that metal bands are left to do is vary their lyrics with some deep meaning. What matters now is if you like the tail they are telling you or not. The idea is quite fresh though; after a few more band use, it would all sound trite (I would suggest the next step would be making a video for every track). But so far there were no bad examples and this latest effort by Dimmu Borgir is no exception.

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Goldengitar
    I agree. Metal genre is running a little bit dry but fortunately there are still those bands who keeps metal alive. BLS and God Forbid etc. In Sorte Diaboli is a great album though
    A monkey
    I love how almost every metal band writes solely about 'the dark side' and death. theres only like five metal bands that ever have any original lyrical ideas. a monkey has spoken
    07bevanm
    the review makes this sound interesting, ill have go listen to some tracks in hmv before i say "dimmu borgir anr downright terrible" or not
    shuriken
    -blaze- wrote: lol. naw,i disagree on metal running dry.. there are many bands out there.. dimmu borgir making metal mainstream? hmmm.. lol
    that would be the day..
    N_I_N-621
    It is a well-known fact that the best metal is created in the North part of Europe
    Bullshit.
    Thin Ears
    most metal that comes out of the north part of europe ends up sounding to mechanical and boring. i listend to 'the serpentine offering' on youtube and found the music boring, the drums were basically just machine gunning (boring as hell), i don't see them offering the metal genre much. A good idea poorly executed by a, imo, boring band.
    ad4mZX
    Not sure if this has already been mentioned but you spelt "tale" as "tail" in the last section.
    NixuZixx
    Best metal bands really do come from northern parts of Europe, Norway, Finland and Sweden mostly. There's Dimmu Borgir, Norther, Swallow the Sun kind of bands. That's what northern people can do better than others. And In Sorte Diaboli is really good album, one of the bests of Dimmu Borgir.
    sTx
    Damn bands like Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine to the pits of Hell, where the rulers will be DIMMU BORGIR!
    S.D.M.F.
    im not gonna bother telling my opinion cause anyone reading the comments dont give a shit
    But mom!
    Well awesome feedback on what i said. Good points. I kinda think on the whole deal about metal dominating the world and such haha. But let metal stay the way that it is and in the right place too. As far as metal running dry, i dont think that is the case nor even close to it. Why did he say that anyway?
    A4Stringmadman
    XxCoFxX wrote: He made tons of mistakes. Who in their right mind bases all of metal off of Dimmu Borgir? They're downright terrible and yes, their new album is absolutely atrocious and boring.
    Big Suprise, A Cradle fan badmouthing Dimmu
    UncleCthulhu
    A4Stringmadman wrote: XxCoFxX wrote: He made tons of mistakes. Who in their right mind bases all of metal off of Dimmu Borgir? They're downright terrible and yes, their new album is absolutely atrocious and boring. Big Suprise, A Cradle fan badmouthing Dimmu
    +1
    XxCoFxX
    He made tons of mistakes. Who in their right mind bases all of metal off of Dimmu Borgir? They're downright terrible and yes, their new album is absolutely atrocious and boring.
    magvol
    good album and i agree on the metal genre running dry.. and btw, a horse got a TAIL, byt u can tell a TALE
    The Novice
    Sounds cool, but I'm not really what you would call a Dimmu fan.. just like a couple of songs, like my favourite Dimmu songs; Mourning Palace and in Death's Embrace
    -blaze-
    lol. naw,i disagree on metal running dry.. there are many bands out there.. dimmu borgir making metal mainstream? hmmm.. lol
    But mom!
    I would be glad if metal was back on top again but metal fans wont let that happen and bands are to scared to do that cuz people will utter the words "sell out" and all that mess. If metal were on top of the world yet again...i'd die a happy boy Anyone with me on that?
    Deathfru
    if metal were to be on top it would be hard to maintaine our uniqeness that seperates us from them. i have the new album i like it.
    Nihil
    Metal isn't running dry, it's not as big as it was in the 80's and 90's, but metal "running dry" was just nu-metal bands trying to make themselves sound better, besides, i dont want metal to be mainstream again, too many bandwagon idiots out there
    King ofKumbucha
    Nihil wrote: Metal isn't running dry, it's not as big as it was in the 80's and 90's, but metal "running dry" was just nu-metal bands trying to make themselves sound better, besides, i dont want metal to be mainstream again, too many bandwagon idiots out there
    +1
    claudman
    metal would never be on top because it's not accepted by the general population.
    Shredder6
    I have this album and I like it especially the serpantine offering. Melodic metal is one of my favorites along with progressive (or progression) because there are more movements and different sounds possible when you add a keyboard to the mix rather than 2 guitarists trying to create something new. Still I think metal will keep going strong for a good 30 years and who knows what will happen then? Maybe metal will be bigger than ever.
    J.A.M
    Melodic metal is one of my favorites along with progressive
    Great! but this is a Black metal album
    CKYBAMHIM1990
    Album of the year. Then again, Behemoth + Niles albums are sure to blow it out of the water.
    sambargun
    If metal gets to the top of the charts, it will soon become an overexposed bore, plus there will be lots of new metal bands that suddenly form out of the blue and come up and follow the trend. How many numetal bands did we have with downtuned 7 strings immediately after korn came up? Its much better that it retains a low profile with its dedicated listeners. There may be a drop in quantity but nonetheless quality will be assured.
    EvilDontSmile
    i agree w/ Deathfru and sambargun, if metal were on top again, there would no longer be a separation between "us" and "them," and to be honest i love that segregation. I can't stand conformity and sameness, i like being different, and metal is one of the things that keeps me that way. However, even if i DID want metal to be on top again, there's no way that could happen. No one could just sit back and enjoy the amazing solos, brutal riffs, and choruses that dont' leave your mind. Fucking stupid, ignorant, overly-conservative parents would be too distracted for what the actual lyrical content is.
    shaggydogJV
    Justice-For-All : Dimmu Booger is the definition of unoriginal, repetive metal. dude shut up leave people to what they like and what they think