Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse

Lepers Among Us


For The World To Dictate Our Death

Blood Hunger Doctrine

Allehelgens Død I Helveds Rike

Cataclysm Children

Eradication Instincts Defined

Unorthodox Manifesto

Heavenly Perverse


Shagrath (vocals)

Silenoz (guitar) 

Vortex (bass & vocals)

Galder (guitar)

Mustis (piano keyboard) 

Nick Barker (drums)


DIMMU BORGIR: "Death Cult Armageddon"    dimmu borgir        NBR

preview- review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

release date 08.09.2003


Monumental, majestic, fascinating, varied, intense, dynamic: all this and much more is  Death Cult Armageddon. And above all, yes above all considerations, praises or criticism, above all discussions and volumes written, one thing is outstanding and clear: the excellent good taste in everything concerning this release: awesome the pictures of the band, awsome the work done by Joachim Luetke, awesome the different (6, if i remember well) versions in which Death Cult Armageddon is available in  stores. A good taste that only a highly professional and refined band can offer.

So let's go straight to the points which, for me, make this album something highly appreciable. An album that, told frankly, the metal world needed. I'm indeed enough pissed off about  a) untidiness b) excessive purism of school  c) plagiarism d) bad taste  which recently are polluting  enough  the metal panorama . Well,  Death Cult Armageddon is the real opposite of all this.

Black metal? yes there is much Black ,Dimmu Borgir have not forgotten who they are and from where they started off. This Black is simply extended towards new horizons that include the mastering of other genres thrash and a touch of doom included . And attention: for me it's NOT  Symphonic Black like too superficially is said . It's Black mixed with other flavours, and, sometimes, in a really hard and abrasive way, only embedded in a fantastic orchestral shell. Indeed Dimmu Borgir, that in this album prove to be able to play in a brilliant way, are supported by the Philarmonic Orchestra Prague. The good starting point to play with an orchestra that  in Metallica's S&M for example turned unfortunately in an  utterly crap experimentation, works here perfectly (though the orchestra in Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse  comes out to sound a bit too high from the mixing). But the orchestral underlining has nothing to do with their music in itself that goes with extreme self-confidence, lie mentioned before,  from Black  till Doom ,  Melodic Death inspirations and Thrash sonorities 

Shagrath told the German press that listening to this album is like a rollercoaster experience: indeed every song is varied: every song showcases a variety of soundscapes. And the rollercoaster is a good picture in order to give an idea of the enjoyable facettes of the stuff, even if i would prefer to identify the tracks like a majestic morphing. Each song is an adventure per se, almost sublimated to the an "opera" level without being opera. many say that some tracks could be a fantastic movie sound track: too foreseen and simplistic: they could be the sound track yes, but for a physical supernatural experience, done in first person.

Another important thing to be put in evidence is that  the whole band has been engaged and involved : lyrics by Silenoz and Silenoz/Shagrath. While music is not only composed by Mustis by also by Galder and  Shagrath .  Vortex is also present in Allehelgens Død I Helveds Rike and Heavenly perverse. Barker's drummering is potent, providing  assaults which are never annoying , not penetrating but thundering and tight. Loads of double bass drums. Black technique in guitars and vocals is accompanied by concrete elements from other genres. No spectacular guitar solos, but no one need them in this frame. Piano and well calibrated atmospheres. Metal sometimes harder, sometimes more melodic, sometimes catchy, sometimes complex.  Emotional choruses , galloping riffs and sudden levitation in a heavenly vastness. Hell so close to Heaven  and Heaven so close to Hell, classical music so close to Metal and Metal so close to  vivid apocalyptic  visions. Without being cyber, there is a transposition in an epic future or in epic past, out from time and space, superhuman. But  the lyrics , who are very interesting and absolutely not banal, don't fear to speak about  "man and his faithful ethics, intoxicated by the fruit of the earth".

Commercial? No Dimmu Borgir are not commercial, their music has nothing to do with easy listening,  though every Metaller, from Power to Black, should have the maturity to appreciate this art. Dimmu Borgir  give to the Black metal wider horizons of audience, it's true , but this doesn't mean to be commercial.  A machine for making money? Do me a favour! and keep your envy for yourself if you think so: Death Cult Armageddon is well worth every cent of its price.  Death Cult Armageddon  represents a step forward in their evolving contents and aesthetics begun from Spiritual Black Dimensions

Allegiance is the opener -.after a sinister slow  atmospheric intro with some touches of industrial and cyber we fade  into a speed attacks alternated with more melodic phrases. Heavy loops act as junction for different paced moments

Progenies of the Great Apocalypse - supported by the well known potent orchestra , this song achieves epic tones showing also galloping rhythms, and moments in which you fly suddenly in the space against the law of gravity. Flawless , mighty and awsome Shagrat's vocals which are strong , abrasive but also velvety at the same time.  Powerful and warm drums allow the band to do  any kind of acrobatics which grip the listener. It is a majestic vision provided by Mustis. Brilliant piano , impressive outro.

Lepers among us - You are still in another dimension when, without  waiting too much , this track assaults you merciless; technically a well mix of cosmic moments and brutal speed blasts. Being very varied like every songs , you also taste  slower aesthetic moments. 

Vredesbyrd - Enthralling bass drums and winning loops  heavy like hell. Varied paced: from doomy moments to mid tempo and  speed grenades. Actually a rollercoaster song.

For the World to dictate our Death - "Let us sit by and watch death and destruction 's devotees revel..." vocals reach very low amplifications, again agreeable tempo changings, which approach the realm of melodic death, with atmosferic emotional background. Giant rhythmic section. 

Blood Hunger Doctrine - Epic, melodic sad and catchy with distorced guitar sounds . "Time is here to walk the final Abyss". Heavy emotional dark , will be appreciated also by the heaviest  goths, and also by Rotting Christ fans. 

Allehelgens Død I Helveds Rike - Black attack and tremolos for this angry infernal track , which provides  loads of powerful drumming and every kind of escapades in the demonic world, melodic phrases included. 

Cataclysm Children - Heavy and fresh,thundering and vibrating . Irresistible loops.

Eradication Istincts defined - Like Progenies , is  embedded in the orchestral support which reigns the long intro. It develops in a very dark  track, very Black oriented.

Unortodox Manifesto - A very martial intro opens the door to a presentation which  will become proverbial: "Gentlemen: destroy!" . Amazing merciless catchy song : a black with thrashy flavours.

Heavenly perverse - Percussive , angry and solemn at the same time. Doomy loops

Satan my Master - (bonus track) The digipack offers this Bathory cover (written by Quorthon) - It sounds so slayer-ish. Dynamic , speed and raw, straight to the point, effective, nice.

Satan My Master 

Remember me when judgment day is near 

Satan My Master 

Take my hand when Armageddon is here

So congratulations Dimmu Borgir! and congrats in general to the Black scene that , no matter how it expresses itself, is confirming artists of brilliant level, who still care about their products and ideas.  Death Cult Armageddon is a masterpiece and a must to have. It's really an event, a physical experience. All slovenly , negligent and insipid bands  are invited to leave the stage asap.

rating: 10/10
dalia di giacomo    


Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland contacts