Dimmu Borgir suffer from the “love it / hate it” syndrome. People seem to prefer arguing about if they are a “true” black metal band or not, rather then listen to the music. Well you know what, I don’t give a shit about how true black metal they are. All I know is that PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA is the best Dimmu Borgir release since 1997’s ENTHRONE DARKNESS TRIUMPHANT and I like it!
After a satanic Walt Disney “classical” intro the fun begins with “Blessings Upon The Throne of Tyranny.” Thankfully it’s not all blasting drums, but has something that I thought was a bit lacking on the last Dimmu Borgir CD – and that is dynamics. The riffing has a heavy thrash sound with intense galloping triplets. It’s also melodic, as is all good Dimmu Borgir. The classical keyboards are all over every song and I don’t think they are too loud in the mix or become overpowering. They just happen to be as prominent as the guitars – not more so. Another of the highlights on here for me is “Architecture Of Genocidal Nature.” This one kicks in with more of the thrash metal feel. Later in this song is a VERY twisted part with the vocals. The “lizard-like” vocals have an effect put on them that sounds like a flange for a spoken part. SICK!!! “Hybrid Stigmata” begins with an industrio-techno thrash feel a la Fear Factory. The vocals at the beginning sound like computer speach. Another major bonus on this CD is the addition of Vortex to the Dimmu line-up. I loved his clean, deep, operatic vocals on Borknagar’s QUINTESSENCE. Vortex delivers some of that on here as well and the result is as expected – awesome. The mixture of this with lead vocalist’s Shagrath’s guttural and lizard like vocals adds another welcome contrast to the sound. Hopefully this will be even further explored on future releases. A good example of this vocal mixture is found on “Absolute Sole Right”, “Puritania” and in “The Maelstrom Mefisto” – three great songs. “Symporium” is another of my fav tracks on here that in places has some killer rhythms reminiscent of the power metal / black metal mixture played by Children of Bodom. My version of PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA ends with a killer cover of Twisted Sister’s “Burn In Hell” – thankfully they let Vortex sing the chorus in his clean voice, otherwise it would be hard to pick out the vocal melody in the rest of it!!! I think he should have sung the full thing, but that’s just my personal preference for his vocals.
If you like extreme thrash metal, but haven’t given this band a listen then this is the album to check out. As mentioned, both the vocals and music varies.
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