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Much has been said about Dimmu's DCA, some comments glowing with joy, most seethed in anger. I have (should say, HAD) been a Dimmu fan since EDT, and have liked every subsequent release, as well as Stormblast to an extent. SO what happened to cause my disappointment this time? Two major reasons:
#1, and the most important reason: BAD SONGWRITING. There are exactly two awesome songs on this album, namely "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" and "Vredesbyrd". "Allegiance" is ok, if they had bothered to remove the stupid intro from the track it would have been better; and "Allehelgens Død I Helveds Rike" is good because of the section with Vortex's vocals. But otherwise, this album becomes a mishmash of Dimmu sounds with nothing to grab your attention, particularly the utterly forgettable last four songs. It's amazing how simplistic and stale the riffing has become, look no further than the beginning of "Cataclysmic Children" for boredom unleashed. Part of the blame lies with Galder, as his riffs can be recognized a mile away, and interesting they are not; but on the whole, the band is at fault. Symphonics have been mentioned as possible causes, butI don't see what the big deal is with the keyboards/symphonics, they don't make up for but sure are way better than the shitty guitarwork. Besides, this is Dimmu... what are people expecting? No, keyboards are not at fault with this album. These songs would not improve an iota without keyboards. Bad songs will remain bad songs no matter what.
#2 BAD VOCALS. Ever since Vortex joined I've been waiting for Dimmu to give Shagrath the boot, but sadly... The worst performance yet as Shagrath's voice has been moving away steadily from a tolerable black metal shriek to a drowning man's gargle. His argghss lack power and conviction and are overused anyway. Another major mistake is (IMHO, of course): Vortex does vocal parts on ONLY 2 SONGS!! Criminal underuse of resources.
So, my advice to Dimmu Borgir is as follows: Fire Shagrath and Galder, let Vortex and Mustis take over, make free use of clean vocals, forget the stupid intros and write some songs that require movement of the hands for the guitar riffs!
So, for 2 good songs and 2 ok ones out of 11, a score of 40. Hope next one is better!