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Dimmu...minus skill and a recording budget - 64%

AngelofBreath, January 12th, 2007

For All Tid marks the debut of Dimmu Borgir into the world of black metal. It should be established straight away this is a long time ago in terms of the evolution of Dimmu, and squarely removed from the band we think of now. It’s also been a fair while since I’ve put on this cd because, quite honestly, there’s good things happening but there’s a critical problem. The production on this album is nowhere near as good as it became later and that’s the main problem with this release. Some of the tracks are actually nigh on laughable because the vocals are disproportioned in the mix to the point that you can hear way too much of one part and it obscures the other. The vocals also sound cringe-makingly bad at points because Norwegian should never be spoken softly in a sing song accent if you’re trying to sound mean. There are points, for instance, during “Det Nye Riket” where I wince so hard my kidney nearly flies out! And I don’t care what you say aboot it being purer black metal, shit is still shit, even if you dress it up in mysticism and a language only spoken by aboot 8 million people worldwide. Seriously, something does not become instantaneously good because its more difficult to comprehend. If Christina Aguilera sang in Welsh or Swahili would it make her sound any better aside from the benefit of not having to understanding what she was saying? No! It’d still be god awful shite.

However, aside from the weakness of the vocals and the general shoddy production, this is by no means all bad. The mixing and performance of the guitar is vastly improved over the Stormblast release, which is chronically mismanaged to the point of absurdity, and there are times when you do begin to nod your head here and there. At the end of the day you have to bare in mind that this album was made with limited budget and experience. At the point of recording this is an under developed band lacking the know how, vision and just plain musical competence of later releases. A piece of evidence for this is the track “Raabjørn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde”, which is in it own right a fair song but is markedly poorer in comparison to the updated version that’s on Enthrone Darkness Truimphant as a bonus. At this point in their career Dimmu are infantile and lack the technical finesse to play this song at the speed it deserves, and by comparison the original is like hearing a sedated stoned version after the band have taken a valium each.
Like I said; this album isn’t bad as such, it’s merely inferior to what the band have achieved with later releases. For what it is its reasonable but if you want a really decent Dimmu album try something else with passable production and doesn’t sound like it was recorded in your neighbour’s garden shed. When you get down to it, if you’re into Dimmu’s based on what you’ve heard more recently sound wise you’re probably not going to listen to this very often (like I said its been a while since I’ve put this one on). This is really only for die hard fans who really need to hear everything Dimmu have ever released, and black metal purists. Otherwise, you’re better off trying something else.