Rating:
6.0
Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra
24 September 2010


01. Xibir
02. Born Treacherous
03. Gateways
04. Chess With The Abyss
05. Dimmu Borgir
06. Ritualist
07. The Demiurge Molecule
08. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
09. Renewal
10. Endings And Continuations
11. Gateways (Orchestral version) [Limited Edition/iTunes bonus]
12. The Demiurge Molecule (Orchestral version) [iTunes bonus]
13. Dimmu Borgir (Orchestral version) [bonus*]
14. Perfect Strangers [Deep Purple cover] [Hot Topic bonus]
15. D.M.D.R. [GGFH cover] [Hot Topic bonus]
+ Gateways [video] [Digipak/Hot Topic bonus]


If you like Abrahadabra by Dimmu Borgir you can make two great mistakes like I did. Let me warn you! The first thing is listening to classical music like Mozart or Haydn. It won't take more than a single stroke to realize that all the so-called great orchestrations are simply nothing in comparison to the dead composers. The second big fail is listening to real and raw black metal. To quote the famous snake, if you do something of that, "your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." This album is neither anything of black metal nor of classical compositions.

In the album, we have right after the lame intro the opener "Born Treacherous," whose riffs are very crushing, but as a whole somehow too edged, the parts simply do not fit into each other. This is a phenomenon throughout the whole album. Right after that we have the previously released track "Gateways." This one was awful from the first listening and really did not grow on me in any way, the weakest song on Abrahadabra. On this record, we have the new battle hymn of Dimmu Borgir, which is named after them, I think it is the best song from this album. It is actually of the same cheesiness as all the other songs, but it somehow manages to sound authentic and catches a metal soul with the over-repeated melody. Unfortunately there is nothing to compare with that in this album. The rest of the songs are like the first songs, here and then catchy passages, then again terrible breaks and slow parts. One other song shall be named though, "Chess With The Abyss" has a great title and is actually the only song that really flows and flows on.

Concerning the musicianship I am still searching in some songs for the vocalist. Shagrath is more of a story teller than a black metal vocalist, he speaks about half of the album. The lyrics are nothing an intelligent black metal listener would not know already, in one word, they are senseless. The guitars fight against the whole orchestra and are mortally beaten by the violins. There are a few bands that manage to make orchestral and metal instruments work together and then it is really great, but Abrahadabra fails at this. Now to the guest vocals, I have never heard such bad ones. Agnete Kjølsrud on the horrible "Gateways" is maybe the worst female singer in metal I have heard yet. The only good guest vocals are on "Renewal," the rest is shit.

Dimmu Borgir finally managed to leave the path of Cradle Of Filth. They are true followers of Nightwish now! Their music is nothing more of extreme, it is only symphonic. I will rather listen to In Sorte Diaboli again, which was raw, definitely extreme and with a great medieval atmosphere I always sink into. Throw Abrahadabra to the dogs, I'll none of it!

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 5
Production: 9


Band profile: Dimmu Borgir
Album: Abrahadabra


 


written by Windrider | 28.01.2011


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
Daniell

Rating:
8.0
Dimmu Borgir sucks. Dimmu Borgir are sellouts. Dimmu Borgir have a stupid image and idiotic videos. Dimmu Borgir kick members out with no explanation. Dimmu Borgir is only about squeezing cash from stupid kids who are naive enough to buy their albums. They suck, they suck, they suck!

If you believe that any of the above statements are true, you may as well stop reading now. This review will not take into consideration anything other than music. In other words, if you expect a biased review aimed against one of the most popular extreme bands, you'll be better off helping your father cut the lawn or doing dishes for your mum, because you won't find what you're looking for here.

Read more ››
published 23.09.2010 | Comments (131)



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moe5512 - 28.01.2011 at 11:03  
Well, In a way i agree to your review. But some things bothers me;

Did you expect a black metal album or what? seriously we all know that Dimmu Borgir isn't black metal so just stop comparing them to it. I think Gateways was a great and epic track when you could see past the, yes, crappy clean vocals. I think that dimmu borgir has really good lyrics, they are really well written. Renewal has indeed the best guest vocals.

1 thing that suprised me was that you didn't say anything about Dimmu Borgir being sell-outs. Seriously if a band order a orchestra to record the symphonic parts which is really expensive, they cant be sell-outs
Windrider - 28.01.2011 at 11:10  
Written by moe5512 on 28.01.2011 at 11:03

Well, In a way i agree to your review. But some things bothers me;

Did you expect a black metal album or what? seriously we all know that Dimmu Borgir isn't black metal so just stop comparing them to it. I think Gateways was a great and epic track when you could see past the, yes, crappy clean vocals. I think that dimmu borgir has really good lyrics, they are really well written. Renewal has indeed the best guest vocals.

1 thing that suprised me was that you didn't say anything about Dimmu Borgir being sell-outs. Seriously if a band order a orchestra to record the symphonic parts which is really expensive, they cant be sell-outs


First thanks for your comment! I did not expect any black metal album, but something that is in any way extreme in the range Dimmu Borgir used to be on e.g. In Sorte Diaboli. If you compare those two albums it is a great difference, just take the drums for example. And sorry, I cant get into Gateways...
With the lyrics I meant things like "The core principle of evil is the only notion to obey", ok it is a stand but it is nothing any black metal listener wouldnt know already... Its like just quoting some sentences of other people, so wtf...
The thing with the sell-outs was not mentioned because I reached the 500 words limit lol... Otherwise I dont think bad about sell-outs, the music counts for me... I simply dont buy something then if it is the compilation No100...
FreddeSwede - 28.01.2011 at 11:34  
If you ask me it's not that horrible or vile, but it's not the same Dimmu Borgir you listened too 8 years ago. What they're going through is called evolving and changing. It shows that the band is still alive and aware of what they're doing. Not necessarily a bad thing for them as musicians, but for the listeners it obviously have effect.

In my opinion it's not as good as In Sorte Diaboli or Death Cult Armageddon, but it has a place in the Dimmu Borgir discography.
ANGEL REAPER - 28.01.2011 at 12:07  
I totally agree with Windrider,and if I may,this album deserve even less than 6 maybe 4.5 to 5...Its a great disappointment and nothing compared to '90s Dimmu Borgir.
Warrior_Of_Ice - 28.01.2011 at 14:33  
Stupid fucking butthurt review(er). everyone crying and pissing about what 'black metal' is supposed to be, and what it is not....
Feng - 28.01.2011 at 16:16  
I've never had too much of a problem with Abrahadabra personally, but I REALLY have to agree with Shagrath being a story teller. He's doing this whole speaking, multi-layered effects thing just a bit too much in this album, it'd be nice to hear him really push his voice rather than taking the simple option of talking.
Vonpire - 28.01.2011 at 19:56  
Wow, only music experts (not) around. Black metal, not black metal, your rate is a joke.

Enough said
Windrider - 28.01.2011 at 20:17  
Written by Warrior_Of_Ice on 28.01.2011 at 14:33

Stupid fucking butthurt review(er). everyone crying and pissing about what 'black metal' is supposed to be, and what it is not....


Well you are the one(s) crying around because ur beloved album only rated "average", it is neither extreme nor good in any other way...
Warrior_Of_Ice - 28.01.2011 at 23:50  
Quite frankly, i dont understand why you would review it. A decent review (daniel_p) was already written...
@gent_-_orange - 29.01.2011 at 00:13  
Different opinions on the album i guess, may as well put a review on if you have something different to say and can back your points up.
Troy Killjoy - 29.01.2011 at 00:29  
One of the best symphonic black metal releases of the year. But that really isn't saying much.

I wouldn't suggest you're a butthurt reviewer, but you do come across as someone upset about Dimmu's direction and wanted to write a review more about how they aren't black metal anymore as opposed to describing what makes the album bad musically.
MétalNoir - 29.01.2011 at 04:06  
I totally agree, this album is puuuuure shit. It's been a while since I downloaded that crap and I still haven't listened to it 5 times, while In Sorte Diaboli was one of the most addictive metal albums ever to me. Of course DB aren't BM anymore, but at least they had managed to remain Extreme metal. Until now.

And about Gateways... What the fuck? COF's Temptation sounds like a masterpiece compared to that. The mad scarecrow-women makes wanna kick someone in the balls. That's about the only violent feeling this album wakes inside me.
Rogue Element - 29.01.2011 at 07:49  
I personally think Abrahadabra is Dimmu's best offering since Enthrone Darkness Triumphant and/or Spiritual Black Dimensions. True, the band's style has definitely changed, but to me the new songs have a very confident, powerful sound. The zealous playing on Abrahadabra reveals both the band's interest in the album concept as well as their intentions of soldiering on without Mustis or Vortex. I rather enjoy Gateways (even Agnete's vocals) as well as the song Dimmu Borgir, Ritualist, The Demiurge Molecule, and A Jewel Traced Through Coal, though I think all the tracks are great. But hey, I can respect that some people don't like it.
Stuart - 30.01.2011 at 15:39  
Personally, I thought the song "Dimmu Borgir" was the worst song on the album, it sounded like power metal shite to me. It was a bit manowar-ish in some respects, although I really liked most of the rest of the album.
farfaramir - 31.01.2011 at 14:57  
Written by Warrior_Of_Ice on 28.01.2011 at 23:50

Quite frankly, i dont understand why you would review it. A decent review (daniel_p) was already written...

So, a review is good when the reviewer has the same opinion that you do? Mmmm... Learn to accept that people CAN have other opinions that are not exactly the same as you.
muska - 01.02.2011 at 14:35  
Bottom line - sad, VERY biased review of a disappointed fan.
Windrider - 01.02.2011 at 17:47  
Written by muska on 01.02.2011 at 14:35

Bottom line - sad, VERY biased review of a disappointed fan.

To clear that up, you can think my review is bad, I am okay with that... But I am neither a big fan of Dimmu nor I am in any way disappointed! I have not expected anything better than that, I think Stormblast to be great, the rest of Dimmu is from bad to good, but nothing outstanding! I made my review quite objective (other than you think), I listened to the riffs and orchestrations, thought about single melodies, intervals and even notes, compared it to other music and concluded that there is nothing special about it!
Kuroboshi - 05.02.2011 at 14:01  
Real black metal or not, this cd is just so boring.
Megalodonn - 01.03.2011 at 02:28  
Ok about the classic music or black metal questioning of Windrider review, in the same way of thinking then, if we want to hear black metal then we should hear only Mayhem and nothing else? This is not a very special album but a really good one, I like bands do different things and do not repeat themselves. Here DImmu Borgir done something different...
Big-Al - 04.02.2012 at 21:57  
While I get what Windrider is saying, I like the album because it ALL works so perfectly. It has feeling and power, emotion and ...blastbeats.

also a great come back album following the departure of ICS Vortrex and Mustis, ultimately proving what the remaining members aid about then when following the upheaval!

Actually I would go on to say that the symphonic aspect of the album only contributes to the spacial wilderness conjured by contributing to the loneliness evoked within an increasingly glacial body & world. Really making for a truly perfect Dimmu Borgir release, distancing themselves as a band from their former skin they shared with their departed brethren ICS Vortrex and Mustis, thus distinguishing themselves as a cleansed and unique artistic entity.
Lokaeda - 27.08.2012 at 21:54  
If you listen to any symphonic black metal band expecting a Mozart+pure black metal mix, you're gonna have a bad time.
DesmondvanEps - 01.02.2013 at 16:06  
Written by Windrider on 01.02.2011 at 17:47

Written by muska on 01.02.2011 at 14:35

Bottom line - sad, VERY biased review of a disappointed fan.

To clear that up, you can think my review is bad, I am okay with that... But I am neither a big fan of Dimmu nor I am in any way disappointed! I have not expected anything better than that, I think Stormblast to be great, the rest of Dimmu is from bad to good, but nothing outstanding! I made my review quite objective (other than you think), I listened to the riffs and orchestrations, thought about single melodies, intervals and even notes, compared it to other music and concluded that there is nothing special about it!

That wassn´t objective at all, you opinion is never objective, nor is anyone else´s

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