DIMMU BORGIR – Death Cult Armageddon


Nuclear Blast
Release Date: September 8, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Not too often, a black metal album finds its way to our desk. Even less often, we find a good reason to make a review of it. Plain and simple, this is not a website for black and death metal, I am sure you have noticed that by now, but once in a while, more like once every 2 or 3 years, a CD worth an honorable mention and more, is released – which finally brings me to the subject: Dimmu Borgir’s Death Cult Armageddon – without doubt the most important black metal release of 2003.

Being the leaders of the “new wave of black metal” for almost a decade, the Norwegians have outdone themselves with Death Cult Armageddon. It’s simply amazing to see how a band can make an album so full of the band itself and still reach the masses. There must have been something in the band’s unique expression from early on that can appeal to more than those who sleep all Sunday. That something is what Dimmu Borgir shows to its fullest on Death Cult Armageddon – a massive metal attack with enough aggression to wake the dead, orchestration bigger than any symphony hall, and riffs and melodies that combined make it all available to anyone with a slight understanding of music.

Blasting off with “Allegiance”, Dimmu Borgir shows no signs of commercialism. I would state that not only the quality of this disc, but the timing, brings black metal public. The song is fast, melodic and bombastic, and represents the CD like a good opener should. Next up is the gigantic “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse”, another song that has all elements that Dimmu Borgir is well known for, and in addition to that, guest vocals by Abbath, the icon from the late Immortal. If a black metal song ever had hit potential, this is the one. It features three singers, massive keyboards and orchestration, mid-tempo and uptempo riffs, groove, melody – you name it, this already classic has it all.

“Leper Among Us” is a fast and furious one, with a thrashy riff that shows great technique and complexity, while “Vredesbyrd”, one of the two songs with Norwegian lyrics (“nicely” penned by Silenoz), has a very melodic guitar harmony in all its evil deliverance. I can go on and on, but I realize I will only be able to come up with the same superlatives over and over again. That is mainly because Dimmu Borgir stays true to what they do best, and when they do what they do best, nobody else comes close in the genre. Others worth a mention in particular are “Cataclysm Children” (that opening riff is one the best ever, just listen to the cool way the second guitar comes in), “For The World To Dictate Our Death” (Nick Barker goes nuts), and “Unorthodox Manifesto” (“Gentlemen, Destroy!” If this isn’t how you go to war, then you better stay home!)

Honor to Dimmu Borgir for understanding and proving that even a black metal album can sound great (the production is awesome), for succeeding in making themselves available for a huge public and still preaching to their own following, and for taking black metal to the next level. This CD is essential in every collection.


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