Sound — 10
With whie knuckle black metal and dramatic neo-classical orchestral passages in even proprtion, this is indefinitiveley the strongest thing Dimmu have ever produced. With innovative creativity always setting them far apart from any other black metal outfit, the influence of the gothenberg half orchestra is as strong as ever for Dimmu Borgir. Rich and dark tones flow through this record as blood through body. Musically, Dimmu Borgir are unsurpassable and in this album, they show just that. Outstanding tracks include; Kings of the carnival creation, Hybrid Stigmata; The apostasy and The Maelstrom Mephisto.
Lyrics — 9
Despite the raw theme of occult beliefs and war in this album, everything lyrical is delivered in an intuitive, creative and reserved passage, nothing special from Dimmu Borgir, but all the same; excellent. Shagraths vocals have always come across as sameish to me, however, I always feel inclined to burst when I hear the voice of Vortex he is the X factor of this band, delivering clean vocals that can chill spines and warm hearts.
Overall Impression — 10
A brilliant album, the only thing I have as far of concern for this album is that I don't believe Dimmu Borgir could top this album if they tried. The most impressive song on the album is Kings of the Carnival Creation, with Poweful lead passages and tapping breaks, warm solos and Spine chilling orchestral vocals. You must buy this album if you like black metal. I am so passionate about this album that I would guard it with my life and if anyone guy thier hands on my copy I would tear thier head off and shove it right up thier backside. Then take my CD back.