Dimmu Borgir - Spiritual Black Dimensions

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]

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.

Tracks such as 'Dreamside Dominions' and 'The Promised Future Aeons' demonstrate how to play melodic yet aggressive Black Metal. 'Behind The Curtains Of Night - Phantasmagoria' is another perfect example of how to use a keyboard to turn any song into an insane piece of genius. Even though I am not a big fan of their background vocals, Shagrath vocal work is really pulling everything together, just check out the opener 'Reptile' or 'The Insight And The Catharsis'.

The cult track is this album is, of course, 'Arcane Lifeforce Mysteria', a 7-minute plus track of genuine talent.

1999's 'Spiritual Black Dimensions' ranks as one of the best albums of the year, and that's no mistake. The solid base of guitars and drums are truly transformed into something out of this world by Shagrath's vocals and Mustis' keys.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Band profile: Dimmu Borgir
Album: Spiritual Black Dimensions


Written on 04.11.2006 by
Demonic Tutor
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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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Katatronik - 04.11.2006 at 15:23  
Yeah good review, great work!
An excellent album with a good production that exalts their quality (black-metal purists, come on become angry!) and amazing killer songs!
Major - 18.03.2007 at 19:57  
Good review, great album.
Dangerboner - 19.03.2007 at 01:05  
Great album...Shagrath's vocals sound especially strong and powerful.
Ernis - 19.03.2007 at 02:43  
Yeh...it's a good review it is...to a good album....I have an original at home and I'm proud of it....besides...this album was the first to feature ICS Vortex...Dimmu's music became even richer...
Basso - 20.03.2007 at 17:54  
I find this Dimmu Borgirs weakest albums ever. Quite strange but I enjoy DCA and even the very boring In Sorte Diaboli more than this one.
|Angela| - 29.03.2007 at 17:43  
Of most of their newer albums, I liked this one the most. Even more than PEM. Its a good album but the rating is a bit too high for my tastes.
Warman - 16.06.2007 at 20:11  
Best Dimmu Borgir album, one of the best Black Metal albums, one of the best albums ever!
Arian Totalis - 16.06.2007 at 22:06  
I dunno about best albums ever, but it sure does kick alot of ass. That's a good review, I own this album. The only track that gets dry for me is "Reptile" because the background vocals just drag to much for me. Other than that, I love every minute of the album.
Mr. Doctor - 26.12.2007 at 20:05  
I did't like it...
Don't know why
It just... something is missing here.
Is not the same type of music like in EDT...
Some songs are very good anyway and the performance of the band is exelent, Dreamside Dominions must be my favorite song of the album.
Moreheru - 28.12.2007 at 17:46  

this is quite funny. It is specific with this album, and also with Shagrath's vocal on it, that some people really like it and some really hate it. I read a lot of reviews on "Spiritual black dimension" on a lot of metal sites. And it is always a same story. Some consider this the best Dimmu Borgir album, and Shagrath's vocal strong, and some say that it is their worst album, and Shagrath's vocal childish.

I think that's because this is their most symphonic album till now. Some like that, some not.

I do like it, and i do consider this their best album, especially songs Reptile, Grotesquery Conceiled and Arcane Lifeforce Mysteria

And yes... Demonic Tutor, very nice review
Warman - 28.12.2007 at 17:57  
Okay, not as good as I used to think. Still a very very good album!
Mr. Doctor - 29.12.2007 at 19:20  
I have to accept that the vocal work is the best...
But when it comes to music... EDT kick ass easily
Stille Haer - 17.01.2008 at 04:11  
This album have greats keyboards... the first time I heard the SBD... I was amazed... I still amazed yet...

The sound was very diferent to the EDT... but... geniale...
Uirapuru - 30.03.2008 at 10:47  
Exellent work, just classic songs from symphonic gothic black. The Insight and the Catharsis is an epic. The Promisied Future Aeons and Reptile makes this album the best of Dimmu's works. 8.1/10
W-Lash - 30.03.2008 at 18:40  
"Dreamside Dominions" is one really underrated song.
stygian - 25.05.2008 at 22:03  
yeah great album, the strange thing is, that in the booklet, vortex is absent... i just realised...
Deadmeat - 04.11.2008 at 09:34  
Nice album by DB. I would like it in a bit faster tempo.. And more aggressive. But the atmosphere is very good! I also believe the production takes it a step down..
Mr. Doctor - 04.11.2008 at 21:39  
Written by W-Lash on 30.03.2008 at 18:40

"Dreamside Dominions" is one really underrated song.

I agree... It's my favorite song from this album and I don't remember that people talk about it. It's just amazing. I love the part when Shagrath and Vortex sing at the same time... Epic feeling.
SatyriconChick - 16.12.2009 at 03:38  
Amazing album! My favorite tracks are "Reptile" and "The Insight and the Catharsis." This band doesn't have a bad release!

I had to add that I've been listening to this album quite a lot lately, and I'm absolutely becoming ADDICTED to "Grotesquery Conceiled." I can't get enough of that song, especially the keyboard melodies. I LOVE it! Wow!
DreadfulYgg - 29.07.2010 at 01:28  
Written by stygian on 25.05.2008 at 22:03

yeah great album, the strange thing is, that in the booklet, vortex is absent... i just realised...

It's because at the time this album was recorded he wasn't part of the band, just a guest vocalist.
I_Die_Often - 13.09.2010 at 04:39  
I've had this for years and FINALLY got to really listen to it properly (ex-wife... long story... I have my own house now!)
I like it more than I ever did before, changed my rating form 7 to 9.
xjules - 09.08.2011 at 02:05  
The absolutely best album from Dimmu!

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