Forces Of The Northern Light - Dimmu Borgir
Artist: Dimmu Borgir Album: Forces Of The Northern Night Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Review by Steve Jenkins
Norwegian symphonic black metal giants Dimmu Borgir have redefined the obscure genre of black metal, with their theatrical and melodic approach setting them apart from most traditional bands of the genre. These elements have made Dimmu Borgir one of the most famous black metal acts ever, they began to gain notoriety with their unique symphonic style that took root in the albums Enthrone Darkness Triumphant and Spiritual Black Dimensions. Dimmu isn't exactly your run of the mill black metal band anymore, with the progression of their symphonic style, they have blindsided the metal world with a sound that no other band has yet to mimic.
While powerful atmospheric sound and orchestration, Dimmu Borgir spares nothing of the fact that they are an extreme metal band. The riffs are fast and heavy yet melodic, with strong symphonic backing and an epic air that hits listeners like an orchestra from hell.
So now that we've painted a picture for you of what to expect from this important group of corpse painted, leather-bound, metal studded, satanic worshipers. Sit back and take in the experience of Dimmu Borgir, with their live album Forces Of The Northern Light, accompanied by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Choir.
This is the perfect time for Dimmu to release a spectacle such as this performance, with their sextet being at their most comfortable, confident and experienced at this point in their career. The orchestra and choir only adds to the dramatic nature of their stage show and it's a perfect blend of beauty and horror. The first half of the set focuses on their 2010 album, Abrahadabra, which is played almost in its entirety, with the orchestra opening the show with “Xibir” before the band kicks in at full roar for “Born Treacherous". The dynamic “Vredesbyrd” from 2003’s Death Cult
Armageddon is showcased in all of its evil glory, followed by the monumental “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse”, and this is where the choir contributes some incredible clean vocal parts once sung by former bassist ICS Vortex.
Part of me wonders why it took this long for Dimmu to do a release like this considering their symphonic composition on studio albums. The transition from recording studio to stage seems to be fairly effortless from a musical point of view. All of the added elements like the choir and the orchestra just make the performance that much more epic, majestic and elegant.
Forces of the Northern Night is a definite must-have for fans of Dimmu or extreme metal in general. It's the next best thing to being front-row at one of their extraordinary concerts and it certainly showcases everything that has made them the pinnacle of black metal.
8.5 out of 10 stars.
Forces Of The Northern Light is available now via Nuclear Blast Records, iTunes, Spotify and all good music retailers.
Check out the video of "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse" performed live below: