Dimmu Borgir – Eonian

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(Nuclear Blast)

Total Playing Time: 54:19

After a long wait that lasted 8 years (so much has passed since the controversial but certainly intriguing album “Abrahadabra”), DIMMU BORGIR finally has returned with a new studio record entitled “Eonian”. Silenoz & Co. probably wanted and tried to create an evocative, epic and mystical work, but they let themselves get carried away and what they finally have to offer seems almost like a contour carpet for orchestra and choirs, but has little to do with the inspired and apocalyptic visionaries offered to us by this band in the past.

The first track that can be described as black metal is “Council of the Wolves and Snakes” where guitars seem to take up a little more space and deliver more strength. Another advantage of the song in question and the whole album in general, is the beautiful work on keyboards by guest musician Geir Bratland, who shines also in “The Empyrean Phoenix”; a dark and wonderfully satisfying song.

The rhythmic structure of the album is unfortunately linear and monotonous, stripped of any variations, with the exception of “Lightbringer”, a track that introduces a certain vivacity in the riffing and a greater heaviness (but do not delude yourself too much) in the work of the guitars. Even the singer Shagrath “awakes” in this piece, and the same goes for “Archaic Correspondence”, the second track closer to the well known DIMMU BORGIR style; In general terms, however, the Norwegian singer’s performance in “Eonian” is rather flat: he sounds quite boring, not very convincing, especially with his abstract, background narrations in songs like the opener “The Unveiling”. With the aforementioned “Archaic Correspondence”, the conclusive “Alpha Aeon Omega” and the “Rite of Passage” (one of the two best tracks), the feeling of the old, classic DIMMU BORGIR sound is re-enacted, thanks to the combination of the symphonic black metal with the Bratland’s style on keyboards. It’s like a struggle between light and darkness, a sense of dark grandeur beyond the canons dictated by the band themselves.

Unfortunately, pursuing the use of symphonic orchestrations and choirs (obviously those of the Schola Cantorum grandiose) as main ingredients of their songwriting, leaving aside the role of guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, resulted in an album that contains only a few songs truly worthy of the band’s heritage and capable of transmitting their vision. The remaining tracks, however, present some beautiful sonic “images” and a great work in melodies; that is, characteristics that won’t lead anyone to the conclusion that this is a black metal album, nevertheless they prove DIMMU BORGIR’s high music skills. All in all, “Eonian” constitutes a step forward for the band.

Fanouris Exintavelonis


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