“In Sorte Diaboli” by Dimmu Borgir

Artist: Dimmu Borgir
Title: “In Sorte Diaboli”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 4/24/2007
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Rating: 4/5

If you translate the title from its Latin origins, “In Sorte Diaboli” leaves you with the meaning “a faithful connectivity with Satan”, and how appropriate this is as the title of the newest album by Norway’s Dimmu Borgir. This would be the first new recordings by the band in a couple of years as their last effort was a redo of the classic “Stormblast”. The new album also marks the band adventuring for the first time into the concept album and what a concept it is. “In Sorte Diaboli” tells the story of an apprentice Priest living in the times of medieval Europe and the main premise of the tale is that this apprentice for whatever reasons begins to find himself questioning his beliefs and becoming dissatisfied with the doctrines of Christianity. The feelings of doubt and the circumstance around them begins his journey into a darker and more sinister realm of belief. It’s the kind of storyline that really falls right in place with the brand of Metal that Dimmu Borgir excels at delivering in their unique fashion. Fans of the band will find this to be an epic release that is loaded with the expected dramatics and thundering power as one often finds in their music and it all begins right away with “The Serpentine Offering”. This opener sets up the apprentice’s descent into the Dark Side and seems to be sung by the Adversary himself. In the musical sense this as sound a release as anything we loved most about “Death Cult Armageddon” and the redone “Stormblast”.

It also reminds the listener all the more that DB is no longer just a straight ahead Black Metal band as they move further away from the pure side of the genre and instead deliver more Symphonic and Technically proficient songs that are rooted in this genres basics. They are able to do this with ease because of the extended use of Vortex and his clean vocals. In the past they only used him sparingly but on “ISD” he has several other appearances and this really works well in the end result. There is also a lot more of the lush and beautiful keyboards of Mustis which seem to direct all of the Symphonic elements. Through it all are the main vocals of Shagrath who is of course as imposing as one would usually find him to be as he growls through this dark tale of evil. The guitars of Silenoz and Galder cut the air like a honed Metal knife and they seem to be complimented and held together by the blistering drum work of the legendary Hellhammer (Mayhem, Winds, etc). I felt that his presence was excellent for the group and I am hoping that somehow he remains in their lineup.

The group further experiments with musical colors on the album and at many points sound very straight-ahead Metal with a growling vocal base. The subject matter is speaking against Christianity based on the tale, but instead of being overtly blasphemous they instead weave these thoughts into the context of the story as we find in “The Sinister Awakening” and “The Sacrilegious Scorn”. At this stage there are probably few “old school” Black Metal fans that are even following them but the sales figures of their last few releases and appeal at concerts prove that new worlds of listeners are on board with them regardless. The band has matured, shown growth, and that experimentation with ones genre style offers them limitless possibility in most cases. The story on “In Sorte Diaboli” is gripping and should instill levels of fear in the belief system of the most devout. Fortunately for the listener they can read it if they dare in the enclosed booklet which surely makes for some interesting reading. In the end Dimmu Borgir might leave you questioning your faith or embracing it all the more, therein lies the skills that they posses as one of the most impressive Symphonic Black Metal acts in our history. Released in several different editions, there are bonus tracks of different kinds as well as versions with the epic video for “The Serpentine Offering” which was directed by Patric Ullaeus. Rise Disciples of the Darkness for Dimmu Borgir has returned to guide you further along into that cold abyss.

Track Listing:
1. The Serpentine Offering
2. The Chosen Legacy
3. The Conspiracy Unfolds
4. The Sacrilegious Scorn
5. The Fallen Arises
6. The Sinister Awakening
7. The Fundamental Alienation
8. The Invaluable Darkness
9. The Foreshadowing Furnace
10. The Heretic Hammer – bonus

Official Website: www.dimmu-borgir.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *