DIMMU BORGIR – Inspiratio Profanus

Dimmu Borgir - Inspiratio Profanus - Artwork
  • 8.2/10
    DIMMU BORGIR - Inspiratio Profanus - 8.2/10


Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: August 12, 2023

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Dimmu Borgir, the Norwegian Symphonic Black Metal juggernaut, has once again unleashed their sonic malevolence upon the metal realm with their latest album, Inspiratio Profanus. Known for their grandiose soundscapes, relentless aggression, and orchestral arrangements, Dimmu Borgir has become a force to be reckoned with in the metal world. With Inspiratio Profanus, the band not only meets but exceeds expectations, delivering an opus that solidifies their standing as masters of the Symphonic Black Metal genre.

Dimmu Borgir has come a long way since their formation in 1993. Emerging from the infamous Norwegian Black Metal scene, the band quickly rose to prominence with their early releases, such as For All Tid and Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. Over the years, they’ve evolved their sound, incorporating orchestral elements and experimenting with symphonic arrangements, reaching new heights with albums like Death Cult Armageddon and Abrahadabra. Inspiratio Profanus is a much different album though. This record is all covers from bands that helped shape Dimmu along the way.

Orchestral Mastery

One of the defining characteristics of Dimmu Borgir’s sound is their integration of orchestral elements. That’s what makes this album such a gem. The masters of Black Metal put their own spin on some of their favorites, and it couldn’t have been better. Inspiratio Profanus starts off by paying the ultimate tribute with a cover of the original Black Metal Gods, Venom. The song “Black Metal” sets the stage for the fans and only gets better as they weave their way through the rest of the tracks.

Guitar Work and Atmosphere

The guitar work on this record is nothing short of extraordinary. Silenoz and Galder’s dueling guitar lines are razor-sharp and unrelenting, delivering the blistering riffs that are a hallmark of Dimmu Borgir’s sound. The atmospheric elements are also a standout feature, creating an otherworldly ambiance that transports the listener to a dark and mystical realm. The interplay between the guitars and the atmospheric sound is executed with precision, adding layers of depth to the overall experience.

Shagrath’s Commanding Presence

Shagrath, the enigmatic frontman and vocalist of Dimmu Borgir, once again demonstrates his commanding presence. His vocal delivery ranges from guttural growls to soaring cleans, creating a diverse and dynamic vocal performance. His unique voice completely transforms every one of these songs made popular by other bands. The lyrics, typically steeped in dark and occult themes, add an additional layer of mystique to the album. Shagrath’s ability to convey emotion and intensity through his vocals is a testament to his prowess as a frontman, and it further cements Dimmu Borgir’s position as a leader in the Black Metal genre.

The production on Inspiratio Profanus is nothing short of stellar. The mix is well-balanced, allowing each instrument to shine without sacrificing the overall cohesion of the sound. The symphonic elements are integrated seamlessly into the mix, enhancing the grandiosity of the compositions. The sound engineering captures the essence of Dimmu Borgir’s live energy, creating an immersive listening experience that feels both powerful and intricate.

Standout Tracks

Since this is a cover album, almost all of the tracks on it are a standout, otherwise they wouldn’t have made it to the album. For instance, “Black Metal,” was already a great song when Venom made it back in the 80s. With Shagrath on vocals, it gives it new life and completely changes the sound of an already impressive song. One more that stands out is “Burn in Hell” by Twisted Sister. You’ll recognize the song when you hear it, but that Black Metal twist to the song makes this one hit especially different than any of the others.


Although this album is a cover album, Dimmu Borgir is such a talented band that they’re able to make it their own. Taking songs from all different genres and turning them into Black Metal masterpieces isn’t easy, but Dimmu pulled it off. If this is your first go-round with the band, check it out then go further back in their catalog to check out some of their earlier work. For All Tid,  Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, and their split with Old Man’s Child are just a couple of places to start.


  1. Black Metal
  2. Satan My Master
  3. Dead Men Don’t Rape
  4. Nocturnal Fear
  5. Burn In Hell
  6. Perfect Strangers
  7. Metal Heart
  8. Nocturnal Fear (Celtically Processed)

Band Members

Shagrath – Vocals, Keyboards
Silenoz – Rhythm Guitars, Bass
Galder – Lead Guitars, Bass


  • Jon Harvey

    Jon is a reviewer at Metal Express Radio and is currently living in Wisconsin, USA. The first thing that made Jon fall in love with Metal goes all the way back to the glory days of MTV actually playing music. Alice in Chains, "Man in the Box" came on and the channel was automatically banned by family. It sparked a curiosity for the music instead of turning him away from it. Things only progressed from there. Suicidal Tendencies, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, all the heavier stuff from the late '80s and early '90s were always in rotation. Aside from loving all things Metal, Jon also runs a skateshop in his hometown and is trying to get the scene stronger than ever.

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