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Dimmu's best - 90%

The_Ghoul, August 2nd, 2008

Dimmu is one of the bands that fulfills the stereotype of a band getting worse as time went on. This being their first album, it's also their best. Stormblaast was good, but not great, and everything after that was a slow spiral downhill.

This was before they got ahead of themselves and let their egos get out of control. What we have is a forgotton gem. There are many things present here that would end up being lost on future Dimmu releases (actual riffs, good vocals, striking melodies, etc...) and it makes me sad. The band had much potential. Anywho, back to the album.

This album is composed of sentimental, folkish melodies with keyboards backing the myriad of guitar riffs. The melodies are maidenish, with a heavy melodic influence, but are still driven by the guitars (as they should be) with the keyboards simply following the guitars. It's a simple formula, but it works. There's no pretension here, no overbearing keyboards. It may not have a sparkling production, but such a production would've hurt For All Tid. It works because it's simple and the melodies, while being slightly cheesy and sentimental, WORK. Dimmu stick with what WORKS here, and don't try all that nonsense that they attempted on later works. To quote Manowar, this is for people who want to rock, not pose. The vocals are also better than future works, being venomous screams, not the nasally, overproduced, underperformed vocals of Shaggy.

None of the instruments overpowers another; they're all present, and they do just enough to move the songs forward. While that would ordinarily be a minus, here it works, because the songs are simple folk melodies, and this is a simple album. There's no wankery here; the drums drum, the guitars ring, and that's that. The bass peeks out every so often, but for the most part follows the guitar. DB attempt no gimmicks or pageantry here. This is simple folk/black metal, and it works. It evokes images of vast, fog covered conifer forests on the Norwegian mountainside. You wouldn't find a vast theatrical production on a rugged norwegian mountainside, would you?

Get this as your first Dimmu Borgir album, then get Stormblaast (the older one, not the newer one) and stick with those two. They are all you'll need, everything else is unnecessary and will only lower your opinion of Dimmu Borgir.