Dimmu Borgir - Stormblåst review
01. Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen
02. Broderskapets Ring
03. Når Sjelen Hentes Til Helvete
04. Sorgens Kammer
05. Da Den Kristne Satte Livet Til
09. Vinder Fra En Ensom Grav
10. Guds Fortapelse - Åpenbaring Av Dommedag
There is quite a mystique involving Dimmu Borgir's second full-length release; a predisposition to accept the album as a rare lost jewel, shaped by the condemnation of the band's posterior inclination. And although Stormblåst does represent one the finest works of the Norwegian group, it remains far from the bleak classic act expected by many. The truth is, underneath all the production arrangements highly devoted to the atmosphere, all cheesy elements that illustrate Dimmu's new direction are present.
Introducing the album, an astonishing melancholic keyboard exhibition, setting the gloomy slow-paced mood of the album and preparing the listener for the versatility of "Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen"; the keyboard, that returns several times throughout (even taking a whole song), is essential for this album's symphonic properties, overlapping the malevolent aspect with melancholy. Even the (not quite) blasting moments have a sentimental value that does not allow the album to draw you into depraved darkness, keeping the listener emotionally active while traveling among many phlegmatic interludes and repetitive segments. "Broderskapets Ring" and the title track were the most well-crafted pieces considering this insistent ambience-building repetitiveness, truly highlights.
What keeps Stormblåst from the claimed masterpiece title is the typical overstrain caused by the not always pleasant path of melodies. During many moments the symphonic elements are pushed too far, verging on cheesiness, as the flutes on "Antikrist" and the chants on "Da Den Kristne Satte Livet Til," wearing out the ambience already symphonically overloaded by the keyboards. Aesthetically, the romantic neoclassical pretension facilitates the whole experience, although unbecoming when in front of the rough cover art, that would more properly depict a rougher album. Something in the vein of the "lone horseman during dawn" of For All Tid would probably suit better the concept and the musical orientation.
For that matter, all the cheese that culminated in Dimmu Borgir's commercial enterprise is here, slickly hid within an unrefined production, but still diffused through the whole album. Of course, given the distinctive proportions, Stormblåst is musically superior in its core, sophisticated due to its history and provides a much deeper experience when compared to the successful successors.
|Stormblåst is definetely one of the greatest black metal releases to date. Dimmu Borgir have never released anything else like this. It is the end of the old cold true Norwegian black metal style this band still claims to play. Stormblåst was re-recorded nine years later and that became one of the biggest fails in extreme metal history. The band claimed that in the 1996 version there was the atmosphere missing because of the sloppy production. This leads directly to the question, whether Dimmu Borgir have ever listened to their second album in a silent hour and felt the unique atmosphere they created. This record might be poorly produced, but if there is anything positive about it, it is the atmosphere. The production can also be seen as well fitting to the raw and frostbitten music.
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