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Dimmu Borgir's true masterpiece - 100%

Karkaton, October 27th, 2008

Although Dimmu Borgir recently (I'd say during the past 5 years) fell prey to the mainstream and started creating shite, overproduced symphonic “extreme” metal, they once were an original and inspirational band. “For All Tid” is definitely their best release to date, combining a distinctive raw sound with incredibly good folkish riffs and quite sentimental black metal melodies. The cover art is also their best, depicting a vast kingdom and a sorrowful knight on his noble steed…Very black indeed.

The keyboard/synth is utilized perfectly, by not overpowering the rest of the instruments, but following the guitars and building a breathtaking atmospheric sound around them. Songs like “Raabjorn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde” and “For All Tid” make use of brilliantly crafted keyboard melodies, and create a truly majestic sound. Stian Aarstad is a genius and it is a pity that he is no longer part of Dimmu Borgir.

The drumming is nothing special in terms of technical skills, but Shagrath gets the job done, and his performance is actually quite admirable, as it does suit the more minimalistic music very well. Silenoz provides very grim vocals, and he should have definitely continued this duty for the band, as they sound extremely grim, cold and passionate. The bass is done well, and has some outstanding moments of harmony and walking riffs by Brynjard Tristan.

The songs are well structured and progress brilliantly. Overall they sound very dramatic and depressive. The album opens with “Det Nye Riket” , which is also my favourite track on the album. It begins with an epic and dramatic synth, and later breaks down to spoken vocals of hatred over a melancholic, slow piano piece. This is what Dimmu should sound like! The rest of the album follows the mood set by the epic opening track, sounding less brutal and more melodic. But don’t get me wrong – This album is not a watered down, over the top orchestral cacophony…Oh no! This is pure, undiluted Norwegian black metal, and captures an exquisite sound that is very grim and depressing.

The masterpiece instrumental track “Glittertint” never ceases to amaze me with it’s awesome harmonizing riffs and tempo changes. The acoustic guitars in the title track are top-notch and deliver a sense of dynamics to the album. The clean vocals/chants is “Over Bleknede Blåner Til Dommedag” are a bit dodgy, but at the same time quite epic and huge. Other great tracks are "Inn I Evighetens Mørke, Part 2" and “Stien”. They are short, impressive songs that sound very folkish and complement the rest of the album, as they are quite fast. “Hunnerkongens Sorgsvarte Ferd over Steppene” is another fast melodic track with awe-inspiring riffs and chord progressions. All of the songs are brilliant and the solo’s on the title track and “Den Glemte Sannhets Herskar” are very impressive and filled with dark emotions.

Although some have criticized “For All Tid” of being sloppy and inconsistently arranged, I find this a brilliant aspect of the album. The technical skills aren’t perfect, and that is what captures the raw talent and ability of these once young and aspiring musicians perfectly. This album is truly unique, and is a must have for any fan of melodic/folk/depressive black metal along the lines of Taake and Nokturnal Mortum. “For All Tid” is a black metal landmark and has stood the test of time impeccably.