Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dimmu Borgir: Abrahadabra (2010)


Dimmu Borgir's latest, Abrahadabra, just came out, and it's been generating a lot of hype. It's said to bring the "symphonic" part of their symphonic black metal to its logical conclusion, with over 100 musicians contributing to the recording. Does it live up to the hype, or crumble under its own weight?

It definitely takes the symphonic element to the extreme, beginning with an appropriately dramatic intro and "Born Treacherous". That track is excellent: It's classic Dimmu Borgir augmented with a full orchestra and restrained use of choir. But they blew their wad a bit too early, as that's easily the best track. "Dimmu Borgir" is another highlight, although it has some triumphant moments you might not expect from such a dark band.

The rest of the album seems like it was written too much with the symphony in mind, keeping the metal to a minimum, with forgettable song after forgettable song. Most of it is more orchestra than metal, and sometimes they just try to do too much, like on "Gateways" (a good song, but you'll get the idea when you listen).

The Verdict: You have to appreciate the grandiosity of the whole thing, but that's really all this offers. It's clear that after 2007's somewhat lackluster In Sorte Diaboli and this new album, these Norwegians are past their prime--still making good music, but nowhere near where they used to be. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'm going to pass on this one. I didn't care much for In Sorte Diaboli either.