Sound — 9
Fantastic. My interest in Dimmu Borgir started when I heard the song 'The Serpentine Offering' on the radio at around 1AM when coming home from work. I was so interested that it prompted me to go out and buy the album the next day, and I wasn't dissapointed. Since then, my interest in this Norwegian black metal band has grown to the point that I'm beginning to collect all of their albums. Now because this album is in Norwegian, the lyrics are something I have to look up and translate myself. I'm a native English speaker so it's a little bit of extra work, but the complexity of the music and the nuances of the vocals more than makes up for it. Dimmu Borgir and most bands in the black metal genre really are the modern opera composers of the 21st century.
Lyrics — 8
If you are purplexed by the statement I made above, let me explain a little bit. Dimmu Borgir is a band that goes beyond simple song structure with a set meaning to a song. A lot of bands make an album with several mixed messages, basically twelve tracks that have nothing to do with each other on one CD. Dimmu actually composes an album that tells a story in which all the tracks are related. A fable can be told in several different ways, the most recognizeable methods however; are through words, pictures and music. An opera is a story told by music and lyrics. And while the genre 'Opera' may not be the first word that comes to mind, if you really think about it; bands like this truly compose a modern form of opera music. And it's breathtaking. The only drawback with the lyrics on this album is that they're not in English so they're hard for the folks in the US to understand. A lot of music lovers care more about the compositions rather than the lyrics, and that's true for me too. However, I like to know exactly what the real meaning of the song is, so I put forth effort to look up the translations for the lyrics too. Obviously, I won't be taking a point off of my score just because the lyrics aren't in English. That wouldn't be fair. Looking at the translations (which I realize probably aren't perfectly accurate since the members of Dimmu Borgir didn't actually explain them to me), the lyrics aren't quite as sharp as those on 'In Sorte Diaboli', but they're very deep and moving. The two albums I own haven't let me down so far, and as I collect more, I don't expect the others to either.
Overall Impression — 9
It's a great album for nearly anyone with tastes in the metal genre. I think people who can really enjoy a well composed piece with deep lyrics (reguardless of religious alignment or aggressiveness of the instruments) will appreciate this album. Dimmu Borgir is a great band, and despite the fact that the band itself is 15 years old, they aren't showing any signs of slowing down. I can only hope I'm right. Supposedly a new album will be appearing in a few months, and I'm patiently waiting to buy it as soon as it's released.