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One of the Dimmu's finest works - 90%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, September 18th, 2008

These are the Dimmu Borgir I use to like. This band is surely well known for the more recent and bombastic albums that sound more like a movie soundtrack than real examples of symphonic black metal. Here, in this For All Tid the black metal is present, in the modern ones no. The years are the one of experimentations and the very first melodies were added to a primitive form of black metal to create something new. Cradle of Filth were great in England and Dimmu Borgir was the response in Norway. Anyway, despite many put the two bands on the same level talking about the “symphonic black metal”, there are various differences in their sound. If Cradle of Filth were bounded to themes about the vampirism, here the darkness reigns supreme on the Dimmu’s debut album and they were into a more evident form of Satanism.

By the way, this debut album can show a primitive approach to the genre, can be imprecise in the execution of the parts and can show also still embryonic forms of the genre…it’s evident. But the fact that I like it remains. Maybe sometimes I’m too fascinated by the underground realities and CDs because to me they express the real pureness of a band trying to do something personal and new. I despise the modern production and so often I find a shelter under these low budget, but awesome to me, sounds. Dimmu Borgir through these 40 minutes makes their presence know in the underground and their start is very good. “Det Nye Riket” is a long intro made of just keyboards parts and they are not so melodic, but quite doom and obscure.

“Under Korpens Vinger” is easily the best track of the CD. The tremolo picking at the beginning is repeated so often during the song and, along with the arpeggios and the carpet of the keyboards, creates a really obscure but somehow epic and melancholic song. The screams made history and they are so raw compared to the music. You see, these oppositions are so pure and genuine…exactly what I like. Everything is still primitive but with a will of change. The following song displays faster parts by the drums but the production in these cases doesn’t help and it’s too chaotic. The mid-paced parts are evocative and the keyboards are not too invading. The clean, epic vocals are perfectly mixed with the infernal screams.

“Stien” has something reminiscent of the typical folk music in Norway and it can be seen as one of the very first examples of nascent epic/melodic black metal. The keyboards are awesome and the screams are alternated to clean vocals by the end. The tempo here is faster but soon we fall again into mid-paced parts. “Glittertind” is utterly fantastic. The melodies, it’s all about the melodies and the play between slow parts and sudden restarts. Everything sounds a bit medieval too and dark with sudden more melodic and “dreaming” overtures. The title track is a slow march of the drums that accompany the arpeggios and a desolating lead guitars work. When the black metal part enters the tempo is still slow but the atmosphere is more pompous and epic.

The guitars distortion is very buzzy and the bass is well audible and probably to high compared to the guitars’ distortion. Once again, who cares? It’s fantastic like this. The arpeggios are mixed with black parts and the keyboards are always present to add something more. “Hunnerkongens Sorgsvarte Ferd Over Steppene” has inside more or less everything that is in the middle between Hellhammer and the primordial black done in a Dark Throne demo like Land Of Frost. It’s faster but never without the right melody, even if this time is more obscure. “Raabjørn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde” is almost surreal, featuring great melodies and heavy guitars tunes to break them for more dosages of epic/black metal.

The last “Den Gjemte Sannhets Hersker” follows the same style with more melodies inside and fast restarts under up-tempo by the drums. The rest is quite mid-paced and this mixture of tempos and melodies is the most fascinating characteristic of this dark and melodic piece of early symphonic black metal. I always liked it and it’s recommended especially to those who love modern Dimmu Borgir. Wash your ears.