Dimmu Borgir is Norway's answer to Cradle Of Filth (similar music, face paint, drummer, top hat, label, etc.) playing small part metal, part goth and utilizing piano. The Norwegians were formed in 1993.
It all began on the allegedly racist/NSBM label No Colours and the band's own Hot Records (Devil's Path EP featured two Celtic Frost covers) and then the band moved to Nuclear Blast which in the past had tried to sign Cradle Of Filth. Shagrath told an interviewer for Darkness Zine in 1995 he “would gladly cut the throat of every black person in the world. Hail the Arian race.” Mayhem/Dimmu Borgir drummer Jan Axel Blomberg told Lords Of Chaos he doesn’t "like black people here and black metal is for white people." Dimmu Borgir is like all other Scandinavian bands in that members come and members go and the band marches on.
The band hit the jackpot as soon as it signed to Nuclear Blast. Enthrone Darkness Triumphant sold a rumoured 250,000 copies. In typical rock star fashion, Dimmu Borgir set fire to their hotel rooms' doors and carpeting in mid-1999. This after the band's album release party in German city of Stuttgart, which was attended by precisely 666 fans of the band.
In late 2002 the band oversaw the release of two EPs. One was a live Japanese MCD and the other was a mail-order only CD. Death Cult Armageddon was released in the summer of 2003. It was recorded at Studio Fredman in Sweden. With that album Dimmu Borgir entered the Billboard Charts at number 169. That was the best SoundScan number in the Century family/Nuclear Blast History thus far. Tour dates were soon set for the autumn with Nevermore, Hypocrisy and Children Of Bodom.
The band unexpectedly parted ways with drummer Nick Barker in early 2004. The band had earlier cancelled an Australian tour. The band's new drummer was drum nomad Reno Killerich formerly of Frozen Sun, Exmortem, Vile and others. The drummer would rejoin Exmortem part-time several months later while Dimmu Borgir took a break from the scene. Hestnaes rejoined Arcturus in early 2005. Guitarist Silenoz started a side-project called Insidious Disease and recruited Shane of Napalm Death for the act. An updated and rerecorded version of the 1996 album, Stormblåst, was released through Nuclear Blast America on February 7th, 2006 with a limited edition DVD. This edition was only available in the North American pressing. The band’s official explanation for the re-release was that the keyboardist on the original recording had stolen his parts from a video game. Stormblåst was completely rerecorded with producer Peter Tägtgren and Mayhem's Hellhammer on drums. The group’s next album, In Sorte Diaboli was announced for May, 2007. In Sorte Diaboli was recorded and mixed at Studio Fredman with producers Fredrik Nordström and Patrik J. Sten and was a concept album. The band’s drummer was Hellhammer of Mayhem. The release of the In Sorte Diaboli album was pushed forward to April in Canada. The band then toured America with Devildriver and Unearth. Due to a neck injury, the band’s drummer Hellhammer was not present at 2007’s summer’s festival dates or the European tour with Amon Amarth and Hatesphere. Tony Laureano who had played with the band in 2004 took over. The Invaluable Darkness 2 DVD + 1 CD package was out in October of 2008. The Dimmus were accusing the organizers of Norway's Hell Music Festival of defrauding the band of 70,000 Norwegian kroners or approximately $12,500 from the band's merchandise proceeds following the declaration of bankruptcy by the festival in 2008.
Norwegian symphonic band Dimmu Borgir issued the following statement in late August of 2009: "We regret to inform you that we have parted ways with both I.C.S. Vortex [bassist, clean vocalist] and Mustis [keyboards]. However, we do want to make it perfectly clear that the creative force in the band is highly intact, perhaps even more so than ever. With that being said, we're currently working on our next album and are excited to start a new chapter in the legacy that is Dimmu Borgir." Mustis had earlier claimed that he had not received adequate credit for his song writing by the band. This assertion was supported by Vortex who was working on resurrecting Arcturus and Lamented Souls. Shagrath and King (Ov Hell) from Gorgoroth formed a band called Ov Hell in 2009. The two recruited Frost, Ice Dale and Teloch to record an album, which was due in early 2010 through Indie Recordings. Dimmu Borgir bassist I.C.S. Vortex (a.k.a. Simen Hestnæs) rejoined Borknagar as the band's new vocalist and bassist in the middle of 2010. Dimmu Borgir was touring with Korn in Europe that summer. The Norwegian band was to issue a new album in October. Dimmu Borgir picked Abrahadabra as the title for its ninth studio album, which would be released on September 24th, 2010 through Nuclear Blast Records. The word ‘Abrahadabra’ was coined by author Aleister Crowley and means ‘I create as I speak.’ Snowy Shaw of King Diamond fame returned to Therion after joining Dimmu Borgir for a short period in the summer of 2010. As of October 20th, Abrahadabra, the new album by Norway’s symphonic band Dimmu Borgir, had sold 9,428 copies in the U.S. since its October 12th release and debuted at #42 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Dimmu Borgir’s 32-date run across North America launched on Friday, November 5th in Worcester, Massachusetts and ended Tuesday, December 14th in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Dimmu Borgir’s Abrahadabra album underwent a slight cover artwork change. The minor change would be used for subsequent pressings following the selling out of the album’s first pressing. Dimmu Borgir would be performing a special, “never-to-be-repeated” set list with 53 members of Kork (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and 30 members of the Schola Cantorum Choir, who were musical guests on the band’s ninth studio album, Abrahadabra. For fans of the band’s music Saturday, May 28, 2011 at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway promised to be a treat. Dimmu Borgir was touring the UK and Ireland in November of 2011. Dimmu Borgir would perform its 1997 album, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, in its entirety on its club tour and would follow up with a second set of older songs. The band was touring South America in the winter of 2012. In 2015, Shagrath joined Abbath, while Nick Barker joined yet another band, this one called Liquid Graveyard. The boys signed a new deal with Nuclear Blast in 2016. The band had a CD/DVD, called Forces Of The Northern Night, and a new proposed full-length out that year. The act released a double DVD, called Forces Of The Northern Night, on April 14th 2017 through Nuclear Blast. Dimmu Borgir released a new album, called Eonian, through Nuclear Blast in May. The band recruited bassist Victor Brandt (Entombed A.D.) to the group's ranks in advance of the world tour in support of the Eonian album. Kreator, Bloodbath and Dimmu Borgir would tour Europe in December. Dimmu Borgir, Amorphis and Wolves In The Throne Room would tour Europe in January and February 2020. Dimmu Borgir was forced to pull out of its show at Bloodstock Open Air festival in August 2019 due to an illness in the band.
DIMMU BORGIR - PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA - NUCLEAR BLAST
Here is the new album of Norway's Dimmu Borgir and as is inevitable upon release of albums by bands of this stature there will be a multitude of criticism from the early-adopters, praise from newer fans and harsh words from the obvious backlashers. Well, whatever the case, there is no denying the formulatic and firmly cliche approach taken by the six piece on their latest release. How can one ignore the obvious misuse of keyboards and meaningless yet ever-so-hip (see ...And Oceans) album title, the arrangement, drum sound and pattern (can someone confirm this is a human playing?), mixed vocal delivery and the not-so-risque-anymore cover of a nude female torso which smack heavily of other bands in the same space - namely Emperor and more obviously Cradle of Filth? I won't get into the band 'look' too aggressively, suffice to say it looks like a cross between Mortiis and a couple of guys from Crowbar, and end merely wishing the band hadn't included a most embarrassing Twisted Sister cover. Phew, it's depressing! Having said that the intro is very impressive and can easily be a movie score composition anytime. Finally note the incorrect track listing on the album jacket and inside listing. - Ali "The Metallian"
DIMMU BORGIR - DEATH CULT ARMAGEDDON - NUCLEAR BLAST
The Norwegian stars Dimmu Borgir have once again entered Studio Fredman and delivered a three-word album title two years following their last full-length Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. Nuclear Blast has mailed in an advance tape of the album in a gimmick harbinger of the label's promotional push for this release. After all, a CD is cheaper to manufacture than a tape, but this is sure to stand out more than (yet another) disc.
Much has and has not changed here. The album begins with an epic and industrial intro a la Emperor, before a walloping song which is drenched in drawn-out harmonies and features more mid-paced music than ever before. The band is getting more and more confident in its abilities as days go by. and is consequently including more time changes, big sound, complex arrangements and orchestrations. As a result, Death Cult Armageddon, mixes the band's previous hyper-speed with Emperor, more technicality, bigger keyboards, bigger arrangements and samples like never before.
The band can be menacing in its attack, but when it slows down to deliver Classical passages with big a male chorus chanting harmonies things get out of hand, in a bad way. It goes without saying that the band's devotion to keyboards renders it all useless. That usage is more than ever before, which is not unusual given the propensity of the songs to be slower than ever before. That, despite the presence of blast beats, frenzied guitars and witching vocals customary with Dimmu Borgir. Watch for a short guest slot for Immortal's Abbath.- Ali "The Metallian"
DIMMU BORGIR - STORMBLÅST 2005 - NUCLEAR BLAST
Originally released almost ten years ago through England’s suicidal Cacophonous Records, Stormblåst has been revisited by Dimmu Borgir for a complete re-recording. The band must have had some kind of a rationalization for doing this, but in essence this is the progression of the ”˜cover version syndrome.’ For the last while every band on the metal scene has been focused on recording and promoting other people’s songs. Like some kind of a bug bands have not been content until they have demolished half a dozen songs by their predecessors and appeared on at least three so-called tribute CDs. Welcome to the next level. Bands are now re-recording their own albums and, in essence, becoming their own cover bands. Funny. Not.
This time around featuring a goat’s head on the cover, two unreleased songs and a DVD on the American version the Dimmu ones have leveraged their star status, budget and new members to bash the songs together again. Is it a ploy to prevent the resurrection of Cacophonous, which went bankrupt despite having this band and Cradle Of Filth on its roster? Is it a scheme to avoid paying royalties to the older members? Did the band’s business management team figure the re-release would yield a 400% revenue ROI?
Sure, keyboard-driven metal has always made as much sense as jazz bands with blues guitar, rappers with blast beats or Classical music with a reggae rhythm, but apparently this stuff is big and sells by the toy truck load. In unrelated news, there is always a line-up in front of this one KFC near me. Apparently, people yearn for the world’s leading chicken-flavoured simulation more than they do for actual nourishment. Music-wise, the band has upped the production value, subdued the synthesizers and, above all, varied the vocals and screams into something more streamlined on this version. An earlier report had the band omitting the track Sorgens Kammer from this version, but the title is still here in a different form. Incidentally, Stormblåst was sung and titled in Norwegian in contrast to the band’s more recent output.
Supporting this album might mean more money and encouragement for the band and possibly other older material reworked - by Dimmu Borgir or others. That might take away time and other resource from newer creations and projects. That might be good; that might be bad. - Ali “The Metallian”
DIMMU BORGIR - DARK FORTRESS (COMIC) - TERMINAL PRESS
Dimmu Borgir have plunged into the world of comic books with a thirteen-page preview of a larger fantasy horror adventure. The story revolves around a chosen few who must venture to a dark fortress to save their land from evil. Their early thoughts and conversations fill these few pages and one also the knowledge that this was not the first attempt by some to venture forward to the fortress. Along the way fun stuff happens and the chosen few fear they may not survive to learn the secret of the dark fortress. Is this where the band resides perhaps? Obviously, this preview version does not go far at all and those willing to wait will get more from Brian Ferrara in the story department and Narek Gevorgian in the art department and one assumes something from the minds of Shagrath et al. The somewhat recent line-up changes have apparently put the full version of Dark Fortress on hold... and so we wait. - Anna Tergel