Artist: Dimmu Borgir
Title: “Stormblast” (re-recording)
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 2/7/2006
Genre: Black Metal
Across their catalog of recorded music, one album that has always received acclaim is “Stormblast”. It is considered to be one of the best Dimmu Borgir albums released and the album that began the journey into Symphonic Black Metal. The release originally came out in 1996 but suffered a limited production value which, as a listener, takes too much away from what is happening. As a result of this, lead singer Shagrath, along with guitarist Silenoz sat down and decided to recreate the entire album and not simply remaster it to get a better sounding original piece. Instead, the whole album was modified a little to make it closer to where the band was now and re-recorded. Such actions always come with two opinions, for one side will say “how dare they do this to such a masterpiece?” and there are others who might be more accepting and take this as a new piece of music. Twisted Sister tried this with “Still Hungry”, a re-do of the classic “Stay Hungry”, and this was not well-received by most. Looking at the larger whole, this is a brilliant production. By the addition of talent from current member Mustis (keyboards) and drumming by Hellhammer, the music of “Stormblast” now sits better along with “Death Cult Armageddon”. The album is still sung in Norwegian, but even I found myself able to keep up with the pace of the record. It’s cleaner, more interesting, and definitely a tad more technical than its predecessor. As a band, Dimmu Borgir has shown the levels that Black Metal can be taken to by adding the Symphonic element to the style. As a fan who did not have the original CD, I was interested in this release, especially when it was released that Hypocrisy’s Peter Tagtgren would be handling a lot of the production work. Tagtgren has proven his skill level with Dimmu before and surely knows how to deliver in the studio in this capacity. While many traditionalists might feel this takes away from the purity of Black Metal’s appeal for them, I feel that it instead guarantees their existence and dominance in the genre for many years to come. Bands like Opeth and Hypocrisy, while labeled Death Metal, at one point have progressed in such a manner that people who never took this music seriously are now enjoying it and buying records. In the end, that is what this is all about. Fans might have preferred a new studio album with new songs but that is still being worked on. The project that Shagrath and Silenoz took on allowed fellow member Galder to release his latest effort with Old Man’s Child (“Vermin” released on Century Media Records).
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