Sound — 8
On Dimmu Borgir's latest release I was really impressed by the production and sound. The guitars, vox and drums are very clear in the mix, but the bass is drowned out a fair bit. The addition of I.C.S Vortex's clean vocals is a great addition to the mix, it adds another element to the band. I am also greatly impressed by the drumming displayed by Hellhammer, some of the fastest foot work I've heard. The album does not break any new ground in the symphonic extreme/black metal genre(s) but it is a solid effort. In Sorte Diabloi follows the story of a medieval priest who doubts his faith and becomes the anti-christ.
Lyrics — 8
In Sorte Diaboli is a concept album that follows the story of a medieval monk who starts questioning his faith. The character takes the place of the anti-Christ at the end of the album and realizes his dark and evil powers. In Sorte Diaboli is the first Dimmu release that features the clean vocal work of bassist I.C.S Vortex. Vortex's vocals really impress me on this release and they fit the music perfectly. Not Taking any thing away from Shagrath, as he pulls off a top notch job as well. The only thing I have with his style of vocals is that it doesn't sound like a natural sound and it seems to me that some sort of effects are used on his voice. This could just be me. That aside the vocals on both musicians part impress me.
Overall Impression — 8
To be honest Dimmu Borgir is the only symphonic "black metal" or symphonic "extreme" metal band I listen to. I can't really compare it to other releases from similar artists. Standout tracks for me are The Serpentine Offering the intro that rolls into the thundering double bass and guitars gets me every time. My next favorite is The Sacrilegious Scorn, the catchy intro again has me hooked on this song. The Chosen Legacy well where do I start. This song is the song where Hellhammer shows off. 32nd's at 160bpm all be it for 14 seconds, it is a great effort! The Sinister Awakening is also an enjoyable listen. The only downside to this album would be that it only has a few standout tracks and the rest mediocre. In saying that I would buy this album again if I lost it.