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Different, not in a completely good way. - 50%

Ghost, June 23rd, 2004

Hearing this album, it's blatant that Dimmu Borgir is still sticking with the same message they held back in the release of For All Tid and Stormblast. Anti-religion, destruction, etc. That is one of the aspects of this album I deem admirable. They still play for the same reasons, they still have the same motivations.

Other than that, I can't associate this album with black metal, sound wise. Many of the riffs remind me of *other* bands, bands that aren't at all associated with black metal. That disappointed me.

At times they seemed to push it too far, too many gimmicks. Sirens wailing, helicopters and planes flying overhead, soldiers marching and chanting "Hail Satan", and their leader saying, "gentlemen...destroy.", prior to breaking into a good song, full of energy. It wasn't *too* bad, but I find it to be unnecessary. It brings to mind Cradle of Filth, and the silly stiltwalker at the show I saw. Totally unnecessary.

Overall, if one is looking for a good black metal album from Dimmu Borgir, look to For All Tid and Stormblast only. Those two are masterpieces, hefty slices of Scandinavian black metal.
Most of their later albums I equate with something an immature kid would listen to in order to try and be rebellious.
Call me paranoid, but I fear that black metal, with albums like this becoming so popular, may be exploited by the mainstream, copied and made meaningless.