Genre: Black/Extreme Metal
I am going to attempt to be as little biased as I can in this review. There is no denying in my mind the grand scale of this album, in all aspects. Dimmu Borgir's musicianship is incredible, and very unique in many ways. Some reviews have said that this band is like "Cradle of Filth on Steroids." In many ways, this is not far from the truth. At the time of this album's conception, Dimmu Borgirs drummer was ex-Cradle of Filth drummer Hellhammer, whom is widely known in the black metal/extreme metal scene. Lead vocalist Shagrath has a somewhat unique variation of the typical black metal rasp vocals, and bassist/backing vocalist Vortex lends an amazing voice in the compositions.
This is perhaps Dimmu Borgirs best effort. The symphonic elements are beautifully arranged and used to their fullest extent. Specifically the song "Eradication Instincts Defined" is purely incredible in usage of synths and various horns. The introduction to this song can actually be found on one of the trailors to the original Hellboy movie!
The other instruments are also beautifully arranged as well! The guitars are at their best on this album, as well as the bass, and especially the drumming. There are many intense blast beats that beautifully compliment the music and the atmosphere is all the better due to the intensity.
Dimmu Borgir, at least on this album, have mastered the art of blending intense, thought-provoking music with the beautiful aspects of classical music. There is a classical mood on this album which is highly comparable to works like "Moonlight Sonata." It is fascinating and amazing!
-Beautiful arrangements on all instruments.
-Great vocals from both Shagrath and Vortex
-A very high production quality
-This album can potentially reach into the hearts of classical music lovers as well as extreme/black metal lovers!
-While the lyrics are interesting, they are about the standard theme of "Satanism." While they avoid cliches (generally), Satanism is just an overused topic.
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars