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Shit, featuring Simen Hestnæs - 15%

MutatisMutandis, February 3rd, 2006

Like the appearance of blood in one's urine, a new Dimmu Borgir album is never welcomed with open arms. That has held fast for me, at least, ever since I heard their piss-poor guitar plunking and completely ridiculous carnival keyboards on Spiritual Black Dimensions. I fully realize that there has to be a period where all the cream-faced 15 year olds slither out from the cosmetic closets around the European 'scene' to appreciate some real rhinestone cowboy approved "black metal", as it obvious the whole glam/goth/black metal transfusion is a big commercial success.
If it isn't obvious already, I don't really like Dimmu Borgir.
"Death Cult Armaggedon"?
What were they thinking? You could easily slip that title into an episode of 'Beetle Borgs' and no one would notice. While I would be brimmed with satisfaction to end this review right here and now, I suppose it is necessary to share my reasons for distaste in this mundane road trip through spankin' fresh 'gothic' atmosphere, spine tingling keyboard rape, and an unbearably huge insult to classical and black metal alike.

True, black metal has never been my first choice, but after hearing such grippingly powerful works as Aeternus' original two releases and just about everything by Absu, Xasthur, Darkthrone, and Leviathan, these guys approach wears thin like a waffle with too much butter. Throughout this horrendous mish-mash of musical spasms comes but a few salvageable riffs, only they're too smothered by the endless synths to have any real effect on the cynical listener. Of course, for every semi-decent riff, there are 5 completely terrible ones. To simplify it, it's a far-less-than-equal alternation between incredibly weak ass guitaring, incredibly boring guitaring, and mediocre guitaring, and butchered nicely.

There is no enveloping atmospheric elements at all, unless you consider your local Hot Topic to be atmopspheric. Instead, there is pathetic song structures that come off as boring and repetitive.
Listen to Vredesbyrd. Really, do it right now. Now count how many times the same ridiculous 'chorus' riff is played. I seriously think it's 4 or 5 times. And guess what? This is the "full version". The "single" version is identical, but even simpler.

Even though the lineup looking bleak, Nick Barker is undeniably the most talented member of the band, once again providing his excellent patterns and fills at ungodly speed and power. Why he wastes his precious time with this homosexual biker gang is far, far, beyond my comprehension. Such a complete fucking waste.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the most useless member of this "black metal" band. I swear, Shagrath is the worst vocalist in the entire genre, even besting the "legendary" Attila, who in my already widely stated opinion, sounds like a Leprechaun giggling through a piece of dislodged gutter. Even back on the early albums (For All Tid, Stormblast, etc...), I wasn't blown away by his approach. Now, of course, with everything else, he sounds terrible; constipated, choking on bile, drowning...etc. His vocals are slathered with heavy distortion 70 percent of the time, and when they're not... well, it's bad, nonetheless.

What really floors me is the countless hours I spent scratching my head wondering what in the high flying fuck is Simen Hestnæs doing on this album? Mr. Hestnæs of Arcturus/Borknagar fame is preforming bass on this pathetic media sensation, and once in a while, shining through with his powerful, captivating vocal approach, only to stick out like Michael Jordan in caucasian midget parade. Seriously, why did he join this band? Was he just after the high sell-out points? The fame? The bitches? If so, I want to shake his hand. If not, well... yuck.

I think I've probably gone on long enough about this stupid album. There are no high points on here, and it's difficult to believe people enjoy things this silly. Well, no it's not. People actually like 'The Sins Of Thy Beloved', so this is not really suprising at all. Time for some fatty foods and a whole lot of bad movies. My final note: what's with the REAL orchestra? Why would a huge group of excellent musicians contribute to something so far over the rainbow? That's enough.