Next review: » Dimmu Borgir - World Misanthropy (DVD)
Released: 1996, Cacophonous Records
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 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!
I started enjoying Dimmu Borgir a bit later than some original fans, my first experience was when they made the jump to Nuclear Blast, giving them much wider exposure and distribution. It was some years before I could find copies of the first two albums. Both have been reissued a number of times with minor alterations and variations in packaging and art.
STORMBLAST (at the time) was still on Cacophonous Records and the original logo was still there and of course the lyrics are in Norwegian. It is a long time ago but many people forget that Dimmu really were at one time a very pure Black Metal band. The packaging is nice, in hindsight the band looks young! This was also the last album with the original quintet.
To an experienced fan/listener you can already hear some of the subtle influences creep into the bands sound that would eventually define the bands sound. For example, the last song, ‘Guds Fortapelse - Apenbaring Av Dommedag’, briefly opens with a huge orchestral flourish that would anchor the sound of many later albums, a prophecy of things to come. The album opens with a gentle, atmospheric intro piece, with some acoustic piano, flute and strings, which bleeds into the song itself. The pace is a little bit slower and more keyboard laden than the debut. There is quite a bit going on in terms of the music so I’m not surprised that the band re-recorded it in 2005. It’s fun to compare the difference between the two, almost 10 years later.
STORMBLAST has all the hallmarks of what I enjoy in a good Black Metal album, some atmosphere, some blackness, some hate and a creepy mood created by the waves of tremolo picking and keyboards. The songs are all over the place from the instrumental ‘Sorgens Kammer’ which consists almost entirely of acoustic piano, to ‘Dodsferd’, likely the heaviest, fastest song on the album, STROMBLAST is very diverse. The vocals range from hiss to shriek, to spoken word and Shagrath sounding like many vocalists of the time, perhaps not quite yet developing his more distinct style on later albums. The songs are not perhaps as fast as I would like and while dark and atmospheric, it is not as intense as it could be.
STOMBLAST was the bands last album where one could truly suggest they were Black Metal. I’ve chatted with some fans that essentially gave up on the band after STORMBLAST. Obviously the changes they implemented worked as they became one of the top two best-selling, most well-known extreme Metal bands on the planet. I enjoy both eras equally so to me STORMBLAST captures a moment in time that they still had the original sound and vision mostly intact.
1. Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen
2. Broderskapets Ring
3. Når Sjelen Hentes Til Helvete
4. Sorgens Kammer
5. Da Den Kristne Satte Livet Til
9. Vinder Fra En Ensom Grav
10. Guds Fortapelse - Apenbaring Av Dommedag
Shagrath Vocasl, Guitar
Erkekjetter Silenoz Guitar, Vocals
Brynjard Tristan Bass
Stian Aarstad Keyboards, Piano
Tjodalv Drums, Percussion
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