|Review: Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2010
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: October 13, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 2.95/5 (58.97%) (58 Votes)
So Dimmu Borgir are like a retarded cousin at a reunion: every relative tries to avoid them for fear of being thought of as anything like them, while their very presence brings down the entire affair. DB have been going through the motions for years, producing half-assed but largely inoffensive albums like In Sorte Diaboli, but now they have attempted to 'evolve' again, and as is usual with people who have no idea what's cool, they have made their music noticeably worse.
The sound is less overloaded here than it was on albums like Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia or Death Cult Armageddon, and the songwriting is less an attempt to cram in too much with studio digi-shitty effects. Like on their last album, the actual compositions are much simpler and less hyperactive, while this time pretension has been piled on to compensate. Rather than being content to be a fun, evil band, DB seem to think they are a 'relevant' act with some kind of message, and their songwriting has made room for a lot of self-important huffing and puffing. The single "Gateways" is a pretty good example of what this album is about: plodding, uninteresting music, lackluster performances, awful narration and soggy clean backing vocals. ICS Vortex is gone, so we do not have to put up with his Nickelback-grade singing, but the female backing vocals are pretty hideous. The production is overdone while somehow still sounding flat and dull, and the band plays most of this like they were half asleep. Shagrath sounds better than usual, as he kept the Dani-esque shrieking to a minimum. Galder is as faceless a player as ever, and new drummer Sven Kopperud is an amazingly undistinguished musician – I don't know if DB have ever had drums that sounded this boring.
I seem to be talking a lot about this album, and it does not really bear much discussion. Suffice to say that yes, it sucks, it just sucks less in the ways we expect a Dimmu album to suck and has instead found new ways to be shitty. Don't waste your time with it.
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