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Cool! It's about time Dimmu releases another DVD! ISD was released a year before this DVD and it was a failure. Still metal, but not the Dimmu we all know (by "we" I mean the fans, not the usual idiots who think Stormblast the original was their greatest album). Unfortunately, there are plenty of songs from ISD, mostly repeated.
Now, I will review the DVD. With this DVD, they have promoted their latest album and have included songs from it, mostly the ones promoted heavily during the last year(s). We also have other overplayed and heavily promoted songs, from EDT 'till DCA. Note that Raabjorn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde and Sorgens Kammer del II are more recent than the originals from For All Tid and Stormblast!). Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, Spellbound, Mourning Palace, The Insight and the Catharsis, Vredesbyrd, Kings of the Carnival Creation, Indoctrination were overplayed during the past 2 to 6 years. Some of them are great songs, but variation lacks and the element of surprise is non-existent. For those who have watched Dimmu's concerts from 2007 onwards (live or from youtube.com), they know that this is just an average performance. Those who forgot that Dimmu still lives will probably dig this, but this DVD is clearly a cash grab. More proof will be shown soon.
The menus are great. They clearly have worked on them; too bad that they’ve used them on a poor DVD.
Now, let's go to the performance itself. Instead of Hellhammer of 25 bands fame, we have Tony Laureano (known from the Ozzfest live performance from 2004 - the moment when Dimmu reached for the stars). Everybody has heavy make-up, almost escaped from cartoons. I love Dimmu, but this is just outrageous. I am wondering who is promoting who by now: Nuclear Blast is promoting Dimmu or vice versa. Anyway, they managed to have an impressive stage and a great performance, ruined by the awful production: too plastic and lifeless. Shagrath clearly has a ruined voice and needs more exercise. He is fat, bangs less than in the past and needs to do something with his shitty vocals (nothing is impossible, but the comfort is getting larger as it can be seen). Silenoz looks the same to me as it was 5 years ago, plus the chronic back problem and 50 pounds extra. He should switch with Shagrath at the vocals and let Shagrath do more riffs and play the guitar on stage. They both have talent at what they are not doing in the present (well, Shagrath plays guitar in Chrome Division, but that's irrelevant here). Clean performance from Silenoz. Galder has a BIG problem. Since the release of Vermin (the 6th OMC album), he got lazy. Not only he ruined a significant part of Dimmu's reputation as a great brand of musicianship, making a lot of 2nd hand riffs, but now he is destroing OMC (see: "Slaves to the World"). It is clear that massive touring and the burden of doing everything in OMC has exhausted him. He needs a brake, touring with OMC and releasing a DVD with his band will be a most welcomed surprise, but that's a fantasy, because money is getting its point. Also, he sucks at reproducing solos (“Spellbound” & “The Insight and the Catharsis”). Vortex is another lazy guy, getting larger and not searching for something else to do than touring with Dimmu. Also, he is something a bit more than a session member, doing almost nothing since his arrival in Dimmu, as a full member, in 2000. Again, money is the band manager. Fortunately, he does perform well, the same songs all over again (wow, what a conclusion!!!). Mustis also has potential, but at least he's honest. He already said he is lazy, but he does plenty of work with Dimmu (symphonic band, meaning keys are essential). I spare him of the critics, although they've used a lot of samples on the gigs. Tony has very, very, very, very triggered bass drums (annoying as fuck), but he has done a decent job.
Ok, I have said something about the guys themselves, the song choices, the plastic, lifeless production and the awesome stage, with monks (or priests), videos on the background and torches.
I want to go back on the set list issue. Why, I mean WHY the fuck did they play more English spelled songs in Oslo??? I mean, there were almost all Norwegians and they've played an overrated and shitty song from the re-recorded Stormblast and an overplayed song from EDT (not the original, with Shagrath on drums). Now, this is plain stupid. At least, Shagrath interacts with the crowd in Norwegian. A specific crowd needs a specific set list. Dimmu needs to go back to 1996 to remember this. And, if they did not learned that what they have done is stupid, we have a repeated act: the performance at the NRK studio 19, from... guess what... OSLO!!! Now, that's a deja-vu! Good thing they've played Fear and Wonder & Blessings upon the Throne of Tyranny and Puritania in Germany.
Moving onwards, we have the "Behind the Scene..." stuff. I love it in World Misanthropy, where they were dispersed. Now, it's boring. 40 minutes is too much. Maybe an agoraphobic dude will appreciate it.
The video section and the image gallery are filler stuff, already owned and researched. For those fools that didn't know, there is a site called www.dimmu-borgir.com.
OK. Now, here's the ice on the cake. First, I thought: "Cool!!! This had to happen sometime!!!", but now, after listening ISD, I think: "They did NOT deserve it". And I'm speaking of the "Gold Awards Oslo". Mayhem deserved it with their "Ordo Ad Chao" masterpiece or even Dimmu, with DCA.
Now, that my review is over, I still have a conclusion: ISD is the unwanted child borne from Dimmu Borgir, over promoted, overplayed and, by Dimmu standards, it stinks!!! The DVD is close, but can still kick ass for the first or two listens. The DVD is available for purchase only for hardcore fans or rookies, but I would not throw 20 euros or more for this cash grab!!! Beware!!! Try it from isohunt.com, where you can form an opinion about what's going on.