When I have seen your church go up in flames
and you are weeping I will laugh
When I have seen you mourn over loved ones
I will feel bliss when your mortal souls is in ruins
I will grin in the shadows
For that gives me pleasure
Tormenting a Christian soul
—Tormentor of Christian Souls
Dimmu Borgir are a Norwegian symphonic black metal band that, along with bands like Keep of Kalessin and Cradle of Filth
, represents the more commercial and accessible end of black (or proto-black) metal. Instantly recognizable for their clean, keyboard-laden sound, and their staunchly anti-Christian lyrics
, Dimmu Borgir have carved out a unique niche for themselves both inside and outside of the Black Metal
world, particularly in recent times. Still, they are quite divisive in the anti-commercial black metal scene; many black metal fans/brainless meanie elitists/heroes ov the underworld/whatever lament their steady move towards a more commercial, less raw sound.
In 1993, the year of their formation, Dimmu Borgir played pretty standard Black Metal
, very similar to what their fellow Norwegians were doing at the time. While you'll find the occasional fan of their early work, most of the black metal community agrees that it was nothing particularly special or innovative. Only with their third release, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
, did Dimmu Borgir begin to do anything particularly original. While still quite similar to the work of a band like Emperor, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
was where Dimmu Borgir began to set themselves apart from the stock standard Black Metal
tropes and techniques.
Since then, Dimmu Borgir have kept up a steady schedule of releases and tours, with no signs of stopping.
Dimmu Borgir are very divisive, so remember the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement
- Black Metal: Particularly the symphonic metal variety.
- Concept Album: In Sorte Diaboli
- Contemptible Cover: Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia is a good example- it features the torso of a naked woman wrapped in barbed wire suspended over what looks like a spell circle of some kind.
- Dark Is Evil: To be expected, but then again, Evil Is Cool.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first two albums and the E Ps and singles from the same era have fairly lo-fi production and lyrics written more-or-less entirely in Norwegian. Starting with Enthrone Darkness Triumphant they upgraded their production considerably (working with Peter Tagtgren probably helped there) and began writing lyrics in English, establishing the sound they've had ever since.
- Epic Instrumental Opener
- "Eradication Instincts Defined"
- "The Serpentine Offering"
- Ethereal Choir: Occasionally synths are used to mimic the sound of one of these.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: Shagrath's Harsh Vocals have this going on, though that's too unusual given the genre of music they play.
- Face of the Band: Shagrath.
- Gorn: The cover of Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia just barely averts this.
- Harsh Vocals
- Hell Invades Heaven: "In Death's Embrace", where Hell not only invades Heaven, but manages to subject God to Cold-Blooded Torture.
- Horny Devils: "A Succubus In Rapture'' is about one of these.
- Hot as Hell: In the video for "The Sacrilegious Scorn", Satan appears as a painting of Baphomet that morphs into a beautiful woman.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Much of their work is a high 9, though it occasionally goes a bit higher (up to 10) or somewhat lower (down to an 8).
- Names Ending In Th: Shagrath
- New Sound Album: Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, most prominently.
- Religion Rant Song: Pretty much Dimmu's modus operandi.
- "The Sacrilegious Scorn"
- "The Serpentine Offering"
- "Tormentor Of Christian Souls", whose lyrics were apparently so extreme that even their label at the time (Nuclear Blast) refused to print them in the liner notes.
- Revolving Door Band: Shagrath and Silenoz are the only two members who have been in the band since the beginning.
- Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Well, they are a Black Metal band...
- Sampling: a few times on the more recent albums. Usually a result of slight Industrial Metal influences on their sound.
- Shout-Out: Shagrath's stage name is a reference to a certain Orc from The Lord of the Rings.
- Soprano and Gravel: On a few songs- and, more often than not, a result of two male vocalists rather than a male and a female. Not normally, though.
- Spikes of Villainy
- Symphonic Metal: One of the defining bands of the Black Metal wing of the genre. Also, they've used an actual orchestra on several of their albums.
- Voice of the Legion: Sometimes this effect is achieved by overdubbing multiple layers of Harsh Vocals.