Dimmu Borgir - In Sorte Diaboli (Nuclear Blast Records) - Back
"In Sorte Diaboli" follows in the footsteps of Dimmu Borgir’s last two albums, blending symphonic elements with pummeling machine-precise riffs, blistering drumming and a touch of melody. Dimmu have chosen to focus less on the symphonic elements this time around. Indeed, the band have opted to have Mustis play all of orchestral parts on keys, rather than hiring a full orchestra. The result is a bit less grandiose than "Death Cult Armageddon" but the decision seems to be a good one, allowing the guitar and drums to drive the music. Vocally, "In Sorte Diaboli" is a mixed bag, Shagrath’s blend of blackened rasps, growls and distorted whispers being offset by Vortex’s haunting clean vocals. Hellhammer’s drumming is top notch, being both fast and technical, just as you would expect from him. The cold mechanical production is similar to that of other recent works by the band, creating a sinister, bleak atmosphere while maintaining a full and balanced sound. All told, "In Sorte Diaboli" is sees Dimmu taking a small step back towards their black metal roots, and doing so without really deviating from the path that they have taken on their last two albums.

It should be noted that "In Sorte Diaboli" is a concept album. The story is pretty straightforward and centers around a priest during the middle ages who questions and eventually abandons his faith. Dimmu have managed to pull off this concept flawlessly. The lyrics are some of the best that they have written, and the booklet includes an introduction to the main character that is several pages long. The album art is tailored around the concept and the total package of music, lyrics and artwork really come together and add richness to the story.

"In Sorte Diaboli" is a fine addition to Dimmu’s catalog and should appear many people’s year-end lists. Old school fans who are embittered by the direction that the band have taken in recent years are not likely to be swayed by this album, but people who were on the fence might appreciate this slightly stripped down take on the band’s modern sound. People will continue to argue over weather or not Dimmu are still a black metal band, and some will find it unsettling when they see a pimple-faced teen in baggy jeans sporting a Dimmu shirt at the mall. This stuff really shouldn’t be allowed to cloud the fact that this band have developed a pretty unique sound, and while they have changed over the years, Dimmu’s music has remained firmly planted on the extreme side of metal. It’s about the music and good metal is good metal, regardless of who listens to it or what you categorize it as.

Rating:
94

Reviewed By: Garett F.

Second Review:

This is the band's first "concept album", and the title is Latin for "In Direct Contact With Satan." The concept is about a priest that starts to doubt his faith, then takes sides with the Antichrist. The lyrics are well thought out, and I wouldn't consider them extremely offensive.

The music is awesome, especially the guitars. Hellhammer is brilliant on drums as usual. Each track, I really worship! This is one band from Norway that is highly talented and have sold numerous copies since the album's original release in April 2007. Mustis on synthesizer does a great job. However, this album focuses more on guitar, drums and vocals than the group's previous releases. Great vocals by Shagrath and clean vox by I.C.S Vortex.

In Sorte Diaboli is almost as good as Dimmu Borgir's 1997 album "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant." That is still my favorite although "In Sorte Diaboli" is up there, too! The production is awesome thanks to Fredrik Nordstrom and Patrick J. Sten.

This release will not disappoint!

Rating:
95

Reviewed By: Death8699 - http://www.death8699.com/