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Symphonies of Blackness - 80%

grain_silo, November 28th, 2011

Dimmu Borgir...the mention of this band enrages a lot of elitists or "true" metal heads or black metal gurus. Whatever, Dimmu Borgir may not be "necro" enough to satisfy the black metal crowd but they sure know how to make an awesome, atmospheric, symphonic, blackish, and flat out good album and Death Cult Armageddon is a fine example of this.

Not being my favorite Dimmu release, this album still succeeds in many aspects. The riffs are very good but not nearly as good as Puritanical probably because of the incorporation of an orchestra. I'm not gonna lie and say I love the orchestra but I get what they were going for. And fortunately, they don't overuse it too much. Yes, "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" relies a bit too much on it but still an excellent song. It gives a very angry, hate-filled vibe, especially near the end. Excellently structured but the riffs are lacking nonetheless. "Allegiance" starts with a weird intro but an awesome blackish riff with an amazing yet terrifying growl thing and is blasting madness. Another favorite of mine is "Eradication Instincts Defined". This song relies heavily on the orchestra but oh my god does this song rule. The angry feeling is probably most felt in this song. 

Production is a step down from their previous album. I think it is overproduced. Too much to the point where the guitars fall behind the orchestra if it is heavily used in songs. Not to say the riffs are bad but they lack something. The drums sound really good and are perfectly played as usual from Nicholas. The vocals are a fine example of Shagrath's vocal range. "Heavenly Perverse" he sounds like he could be in Immortal, it's that good. He can go very deep and of course his awesome screams and growls. The bass is a disappointment. It is just way too quiet but Vortex's operatic vocals are a unique twist to the standard Dimmu vocal styles. A welcomed addition to add more variety.

The is definitely one of my favorite Dimmu albums. The elitists will say what they want about the selling out and the commercialism of black metal, whatever, this album rules. Just give it a chance but if you're expecting pure, "true" black metal, you will be disappointed. This is extreme/symphonic/black metal at its finest. 

Best tracks - "Eradication Instincts Defined", "Vredsbyrd", and "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse"