Dimmu Borgir- Abrahadabra

By Max Hofacker

Published on Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dimmu Borgir is commonly billed as “(Norwegian) Symphonic Black Metal” – pretty much what you would expect from a group of guys who wear corpse paint and name their band after a volcano. So it makes sense to assume that their newest album is grim, frost-bitten, and totally kvlt, right? Don’t be so hasty. The sad truth is that ‘Abrahadabra’ is, well, boring. I mean, the orchestral arrangements are very well done (the band enlisted the help of both the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum choir in the recording the album), but what good does that do? When I buy an album by a band with ‘black metal’ in their genre description, I half-expect to catch a faint aroma of smoldering cathedral whenever I crack open the case. I expect each track (or, at the very least, the album as a whole) to swell with an aura of malice – I want to be able to play this song in my car with the windows down and terrify pedestrians as I drive by. ‘Abrahadabra’ does none of that. Maybe I’m being hypercritical, but the facts don’t lie: Mayhem burns churches. Burzum kills people. Dimmu Borgir records pretty music with an orchestra. See what I mean? If its black metal you’re after, as I was, there are far better places to go than this recent disappointment by Dimmu Borgir.

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Full Disclosure: Review copy purchased by author

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