Sound — 10
Another great album from Dimmu Borgirs already impressive lineup, Spiritual Black Dimensions is an album I'm surprised hasn't been reviewed already. The guitar work on this album actually surprised me seeing that there are a large abundance of lead riffs and solos involving super-fast scales and sweeps, something Dimmu Borgir doesn't usually do on their albums. This is largely due to a different lead guitarist on the album. Although some Dimmu Borgir fans may not appreciate all the lead guitar work, I do. I find it both a welcome change of pace for them, and something I can appreciate as a fan of other metal bands that have fast lead guitar work. The album is a great combination of talents from the drums, to the keyboards, to the guitars, everything. It's a shame that during this era in Dimmu Borgir's history that there had to be a major lineup change for the band. The lead guitarist, keyboard player and drummer all had somewhat short lived stints with the band because of family obligations, other bands, and "incompatibility" in some cases. Chances are fans may never see another album quite like this one from Dimmu Borgir.
Lyrics — 8
While the lyrics may not necessarily be considered to be innovative by some fans, this album isn't all focused on darkness, hatred and anti-religious messages. Some of the lyrics also comment on the positive visions of religious beliefs, ascendancy after death, madness and even the potentially deceptive nature of women. Everything fits together with the music very nicely, and considering that this isn't a concept album, it's very well put together. Shagrath is at his best belting out the long screams, hitting his growls in just the right way while still being clear enough to hear (if you know the lyrics).
Overall Impression — 9
If I could give this album a 9.5 I would. It's even better than some of their newer work, has a different and fresh style of guitar playing, great keyboards and chorus usage, a pinch of harmonic singing which accents the music perfectly, production is wonderful and the atmosphere of the whole album is great. There is no such thing as a perfect album, but this effort from Dimmu Borgir is as close as any band can get. A fresh, re-vamped guitar style while still keeping the traditional sound of the band to power it, and despite having favorite tracks, I find none of the tracks on the album to be flawed or stale, I'm just sad there are only 9 tracks on the album (10 on the Deluxe Edition). But then again, that only makes me want to hear more from them. Definite buy.