The album I’ve been anticipating for a long time, yearning for it even more after listening to Gateways (which was released earlier as a single from Abrahadabra), this album has delivered. And how!
Black/Doom Metal has been redefined with Abrahadabra. This album is nothing like “In Sorte Diaboli”. While that album has good influences of old school death metal infused with the distinctive Dimmu Borgir, this album inclines more towards the doom aspect with death incorporated in bits. The use of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra( Kringkastingsorkestret) along with Schola Cantorum (Norwegian Choir) was surprising yet the best thing they could’ve done. It gives Dimmu Borgir an entirely new genre – \m/!
It starts with Xibir creating this whole atmosphere of doom/apocalypse. A very thematic and symphonic essence is displayed by the music. The backing orchestra has been used to its full extent, Violins and Chellos merging with Snares and riffs and creating this aura of supreme authority, something out of a much darker and malefic Morgoth (LOTR reference here :D). It starts with two really powerful tracks Born Treacherous and Gateway (I’ve reviewed Gateways here @ Gateways Review). Powerful and imposing sound dominates the entire album with Shargath’s vocals gelling with the music. Drums, done by Daray, sound awesome with the entire structure coming out from the keys (done by Shargath again). Chess with the Abyss brings out the old Dimmu, “Sorgens Kammer Del” 2 sorts. It is awesome nonetheless with kickass choruses and percussions. I won’t describe the rest of the tracks and spoil the fun. Keep in mind that this is one epic album which would keep you on your feet and head banging for the entire 60 odd minutes.
This edition of the album also features an only Orchestral version of Gateways. I have always been a big fan orchestras as such but wow. It isn’t as impressive as some of the performances I’ve heard or viewed, but incorporating and successfully bringing out the “black metal” of the song really impressed me. The beginning would get your blood boiling, if only they had kept the vocals too (those of Shargath’s and Agnete Kjølsrud’s) it would have been my favourite of the lot and a legend.
ICS Vortex is missed though. His clean vocals would’ve done only better for the album. Apart from that I can’t think of anything that might have gone wrong with this album. It’s a keeper. Buy the CD. Definitely.
Ratings – 8.5/10.