“The Invaluable Darkness” by Dimmu Borgir

Artist: Dimmu Borgir
Title: “The Invaluable Darkness”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 10/14/2008
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

So you thought it was safe enough to travel bravely back into the “comfort” of light did you? Well let me advise you of you folly as those titans of Norwegian Black Metal Dimmu Borgir stand at the ready to pull you back down into the depths where they rule without question. The new DVD entitled “The Invaluable Darkness” presents them in all their magnificent evil glory onstage during a show in their native Norway as the band toured in support of their most recent studio effort “In Sorte Diaboli”. This is a massive release and delivers to those fans wise enough to know that which is bad for them not one but two DVD’s and a bonus audio CD all wrapped together in a massive package that will prove itself as an ominous addition to ones video library. The first DVD delivers the main concert and it’s a fantastic show that finds the band on target as they pummel the senses with song after incredible song. Had you seen one of the shows for this tour you would vividly recall how the band opened with the dramatic “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse”, a number that usually was kept for the closer but who said Dimmu Borgir needed to follow tradition. From the moment this part of the DVD begins you are enthralled and cannot help but take the dark journey with the band for the rest of way. The concert is broken up into three separate parts and gives you a large portion of the show from Oslo, several songs from Berlin, Germany and then a couple more from England. I guess that they did this to mix it up a little bit, but I would have preferred the full Oslo show, and then the remaining pieces to be presented as bonus footage from other stops on the tour.

The production on all of the concert segments is strong and the audio sounds fantastic when pumped up just a little bit more than your neighbors will like. Of course doing so will most likely keep them at bay and out of your hair for fear of falling into the darkness themselves. The first DVD concert doesn’t find the band focusing on the new album and instead delivering a lot of gems from their storied career. As result we find music from “Puritania” and “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” making an appearance and their inclusion reminds the viewer about just how powerful this band has remained over time. Fortunately for us all, they have not mellowed with age or chosen to do an acoustic or covers album and instead keep upping their Symphonic Black Metal game. Once the viewer has recovered from the first DVD and checked their blood pressure they can get up and pop the second DVD in and enjoy a lot more features which we will discuss next.

DVD2: Wacken Open Air Festival 2007; Gold Awards, Images, Video Gallery, P3 Sessions, Credits.

*** WOA is one of the biggest Metal events that is held each year in Wacken, Germany and for DVD2 we get the full performance of Dimmu Borgir from the Black Metal stage. It’s a full set that features the following numbers: Introduction, Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse , Vredesbyrd, Cataclysm Children, Kings Of The Carnival Creation, Sorgens Kammer Del II, Indoctrination, A Succubus In Rapture, The Serpentine Offering, The Chosen Legacy, The Insight And The Catharsis, Spellbound (By The Devil), Mourning Palace, The Fallen Arises. This looks great visually and is a nice addition to the release that compliments the full concert we get on DVD1. The P3 Sessions were live recordings released by the band in 2007 and with this segment we get “Spellbound (By The Devil)”, “The Mourning Palace” and “The Serpentine Offering” which are great tunes without question but I would have liked to see a few more of the tracks from this session considering the full recording of it features twelve songs. We get the bands videos for “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse”, “Vredesbyrd”, “Sorgens Kammer Del II”, “The Serpentine Offering”, “The Sacrilegious Scorn”, and “The Chosen Legacy” and all of these will leave you shaking in your boots based on their graphic and often intense images. I’ve loved the DB videos since the moment I first caught “Progenies” because they are like mini Horror movies in some cases and are really well done. I don’t recommend the videos for younger viewers or for those whose belief structure that they might conflict with.

CD: The P3 Sessions: The Serpentine Offering, .The Chosen Legacy, The Conspiracy Unfolds, The Ancestral Fever, The Sacrilegious Scorn, The Fallen Arises, The Sinister Awakening, The Fundamental Alienation, The Invaluable Darkness, The Foreshadowing Furnace.

*** It seems as though live videos are regularly including an audio version of some of the songs that we find featured on the DVD’s. I am really cool with that, especially in this shifting music purchasing environment that we are finding ourselves in. One way to guarantee an audio CD is sold is lately being proven by having a DVD added to it, even if it only shows the band goofing around backstage. With “The Invaluable Darkness” we get a solid batch of numbers from the P3 Sessions and since they are slightly different from the main concert audio we heard while watching the film, it will not find you bored. It’s a great way to have some of the live majesty of Dimmu Borgir join you on your own adventures after you load it onto your music player of choice.

This is a must have for any fans of the band and those who simply enjoy a great concert. The added features will keep you busy for another couple of hours and I am confident that you will not only watch that main film once. The release comes with a booklet that is rather limited in the photos that it features but it does have the lyrics to all of the band songs that are presented on the release. It begins with some liner notes from the editor of Metal Hammer and is made up to look like some ancient text. All in all it adds to the mystique of the product and should please those who pick up a copy.

Update: The release has proven to have an issue with the 2nd DVD in terms of the Wacken Open Air 2007 segment in that there is no audio for the film. So don’t think it’s your DVD player, as Nuclear Blast Records has made a statement about their being aware of it. The full story and details on how to deal with them can be looked into by hitting the bands official website.

Track Listing (DVD1):

1. Introduction
2. Progenies Off The Great Apocalypse
3. The Serpentine Offering
4. The Chosen Legacy
5. Spellbound (By The Devil)
6. Sorgens Kammer – Del II
7. The Insight & the Catharsis
8. Raabjorn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde
9. The Sacrilegious Scorn
10. Mourning Palace
11. The Fallen Arises
12. The Sinister Awakening
13. A Succubus In Rapture
14. Fear and Wonder
15. Blessings Upon Throne Of Tyranny
16. Vredesbyrd
17. Puritania

Official Website: http://www.dimmu-borgir.com

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