Released: 1997, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Ilias Pap (Greece)
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
With this third album proving a critical juggernaut and having broken out of cult status in to – dare we say it – genuine commercial success, Dimmu Borgir have pretty much guaranteed that ENTHRONE DARKNESS TRIUMPHANT would sell loads and have plenty of fans regardless of how good it might be. Like Slayer, Dimmu Borgir could quite happily put out new albums over and over now and everyone would still love them.
ENTHRONE DARKNESS TRIUMPHANT was a huge success for the band, and was their first release signed to a major Metal label and this fact has led the band to a worldwide success. Dimmu Borgir delivered album which contains all the classic Dimmu elements, blasts, nice growls, brutal and blistering-ly heavy. The keyboards are the mighty key of that …TRIUMPHANT’s triumphs!
While this release is well executed within the defined parameters of its style, it creates atmosphere but falls short of finding a synthesis of feeling and action as underground black metal in its inventive era did. This album defines a new period for the band; the mainstream one. As long as the album’s production concerns, it was made by Hypocrisy’s Peter Tӓngret and it’s clear, slightly muddied but irrelevant as it brings twists to melodic timbre.
Compared to STORMBLAST (1996) and the debut album, FOR ALL TID (1994), ENTHRONE’s output is now more "live" and fresh. Missing some of the sound extremity previous albums but replaced by more atmospheric moments. Generally, variations ranging from devastating blast beats, at mid tempo parts have been observed. There are tracks that retain the black metal that the Norwegians pioneers have been accustomed, while several others look more towards the USA sounding black metal, maintaining throughout the character and personality. There are parts where Dimmu Borgir flattens you by their impetuosity and grit, while the slower parts riveting and mesmerizing you.
In general and apart from the foresaid negative characteristics, ENTHRONE DARKNESS TRIUMPHANT is an album full of blistering energy, fast, ruthless, terrifying and definitely a killer ride.