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Uninspired. - 5%

Zerstorer1611, August 3rd, 2014

Dimmu Borgir, one of the most polarizing bands within the extreme metal community, loved by some due to their bombastic, magnanimous orchestral arrangements and hated by others due to the atrocious dilution of the black metal spirit and ethos.

Whether you hate or love the band, if you're into black metal then you have undoubtedly heard many so-called black metallers praise this album as Dimmu's best while bashing their newer outputs, mentioning For All Tid as an album worthy of being called "black metal" however, Dimmu Borgir's very first effort suffers greatly from a severe lack of inspiration and direction.

The very first song in this album "Det Nye Riket" is a keyboard-only musical piece that works as an "intro" of sorts, which feels out of place and perhaps too melancholic considering the lyrics, which basically speak about a new kingdom in which Satan is the ruler, even then this small piece sounds gloomy and manages to demonstrate Aarstad's talent with a keyboard. Right after the intro starts "Under Korpens Vinger" which is to me, one of the very few redeemable songs in this album, featuring a very simple and fast tremolo riff for a few seconds before the drums join in together with the rhythm guitars, the combination sounds aggressive and energetic enough to catch your attention, only to be interrupted by a slower keyboard interlude which also sounds annoyingly out of place, however as the song goes on the keyboard takes on a more fitting sound and the music returns to a mid-paced tempo.

Perhaps one of the most damaging flaws in For All Tid is the absolute overuse of synths and keyboards, which drown out the riffs for most of the album; they also sound WAY out of place, too busy trying to generate an atmosphere and failing at doing so. In fact, it seems like the keyboards are actually driving the music, not going with it, which is the worst mistake a black metal band can make; the synths are so loud that the few riffs in this album become nothing but background noise.

Vocally, you can't get more generic than this, you have your typical average black metal grunts and shrieks, merely enough to do the job, there is also a horrid attempt at clean singing during "Over bleknede blÄner til dommedag" by Aldrahn, this song is terribly cringe worthy and I cannot understand how this massive failure was included on this album. The vocals are also too high on the mix at times.

The musicianship here is sloppy at best but not in a good way, this album feels terribly inconsistent and it almost seems like the guys at Dimmu Borgir weren't completely sure of what they wanted to do and what they had in mind. Perhaps they felt the urge to write some music and join the growing trend of black metal in Norway, which would explain why this album feels so plain and devoid of any real emotional depth. The guitars sound weak and thin, the drums sound dull and Shagrath is or was an unskilled drummer, even for black metal standards.

For All Tid is a bad album, there are a few worthwhile moments in "Under Korpens Vinger" "Det Nye Riket" and the title track but in general the album feels uninspired and insipid. Dimmu Borgir went into the studio with no solid idea of what they wanted to do and thus failed, and unfortunately 3 songs aren't enough to save an album, specially when one of those songs isn't even metal to begin with.