Dimmu Borgir - Spiritual Black Dimensions review


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Band: Dimmu Borgir
Album: Spiritual Black Dimensions
Release date: March 1999

01. Reptile
02. Behind The Curtains Of Night-Phantasmagoria
03. Dreamside Dominions
04. United In Unhallowed Grace
05. The Promised Future Aeons
06. The Blazing Monoliths Of Defiance
07. The Insight And The Catharsis
08. Grotesquery Conceiled (Within Measureless Magic)
09. Arcane Lifeforce Mysteria
10. Masses For The New Messiah [bonus]
11. Stormblast [live][bonus]
12. Master Of Disharmony [live][bonus]
13. In Death's Embrace [live][bonus]

A new experiment on the way of Dimmu Borgir, this record is a bridge that joins Enthrone Darkness Triumphant to their 2000s style. Although it has a lot of magnificent tracks, something in this album sounds annoying and doesn't let you consider it as your favorite [band]Dimmu Borgir [/band] record.

This was the first album to feature Mustis the genius and ICS Vortex, which led Dimmu Borgir to a more symphonic and progressive format. Keyboard parts are heavenly brilliant, especially in "The Insight And The Catharsis" and some keyboard lead pads in other tracks as well.

"The Insight And The Catharsis" starts with a super fast 154-bpm keyboard; piano and keyboard players definitely know how demanding it would be to play such things. Then we have two parts with Vortex's clean vocals, which I personally prefer the first part musically and the second part lyric-wise. Then, after some fillers and a solo, it is time for Mustis to prove himself as one of the best key players in metal history (the climax of the song is extremely thrilling).

The intro of "The Promised Future Aeons" is so Dimmuish I say, precisely what we see later in Death Cult Armageddon and In Sorte Diaboli. This record yet again like the previous one features some guitar solos, which are quite melodic and dynamic.

On the drum and guitar parts, however, I hear a splashy sound, which is not appropriate during all the record. That splashy and clamorous noise is decreasing the quality of the package and it really gets on my nerves at some points. But the good point is, a lot of syncopation, especially with the cymbals, is added. Additionally, the cover art is really apocalyptic and dark, and one of the best in metal industry.

This album is a huge jump in terms of songwriting for the band, but I wish they had worked on the sounds more.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by TheH2K | 02.06.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Dream Taster
Honestly, I missed out the Dimmu Borgir phenomenon and I am just now catching up with it. But man, is that ever worth it! While 'Stormblast' is considered as the cornerstone of the Norwegian band discography, 'Spiritual Black Dimensions' has to be regarded as another important album for them.

Fist of all, this is their first album with such a good production, which might have offended Black Metal purists but made Dimmu Borgir more popular than they ever were. But the main enhancement on "Spiritual Black Dimensions" is the dynamics that reign with an iron fist on the music. It's an ever-challenged atmosphere, with blasting drums, enthralling keys and grinding guitar riffs. And what about Shagrath's vocals? They are simply like another instrument, adding a layer of complexity to the compositions.

published 04.11.2006 | Comments (22)

Guest review by
When I was 14 I was given this album by a German foreign exchange student. On first listen I considered it to be just a load of noise as all other music she had given me. I was a young American who had not yet learned to appreciate non-mainstream, well produced, MTV-loved "metal." A few years later I popped this album in to reminisce the old high school days and what came out of my radio surprised me. My ear was trained on picking up the murkiness of the likes of Darkthorne and other early black metal. Though this album is in no way as murky in its production quality as the early black metal albums were, it still had an overload of sound that needed to be listened to in each individual instrument's sector.

published 27.01.2012 | Comments (4)

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