Dimmu Borgir-The Invaluable Darkness (DVD Review)

Reviewed: April 2020
Released: 2008, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I reviewed Dimmu Borgir’s first DVD WORLD MISANTHROPY back in 2016 and in hindsight I might have been a little too critical about it.  It was a superb package, the three disc, upside-down cross digipak looks amazing!

The packaging of THE INVALUABLE DARKNESS, the bands second home video, is a bit more sedate but this three disc set (two DVD, one CD) is still top quality.  It comes with a 38-page booklet, full color with a foreword by the Editor of Metal Hammer.  The booklet also includes full lyrics, notes, credits, a discography and more.

The DVD visually and sonically is very well presented. The menus are easy to use and the in-between scenes, graphics and sound effects are very effective. This DVD just seems far more professional than the last one.

There is a bit of an odd feature, sort of like an Easter egg.   In the special features you can turn on the behind the scenes footage when a symbol appears on the screen.   While it is a neat idea, I would have liked to have all the behind the scenes stuff, available separately in one section to view after the concert.    When you are watching the show and the symbol pops up, if you choose to see the hidden extras it kind of detracts from the momentum of the concert.  The only reasonable solution is to watch the concert twice, once in the unmolested version and once where you can stop the concert over and over and watch the interjections.

DVD one covers the 2007 Invaluable Darkness tour as you might have surmised from the title of the DVD. The bulk of the concert is in their hometown of Oslo on November 6th, 2007 and there are six more cuts, four from Germany and two from London.  All of these shows blend together pretty seamlessly.  The stage performances, image and style are all great, demonstrating why Dimmu are one of the unholy triarchy of this overblown, highly produced, symphonic style along with Cradle and Behemoth. The sound and camera work and additional visuals make this a very engaging concert.

The bonus feature are a few clips, more behind the scenes stuff, interviews, radio show appearance in the US.  I had trouble making it work on my computer for some reason. These Easter Eggs seem to be more trouble than they grew worth, that’s probably why they don’t put them on DVD’s or Blu-Ray’s much anymore. The novelty has worn off!

The ‘Behind The Scenes’ segment is essentially 50 minutes of… well…behind the scenes footage!   It’s pretty much all handheld camera footage. All the usual things are present, sound checks, airports, people getting drunk, pranks, hanging out on the tour bus and all the other not-so glamorous parts of life on the road. It is nice and a good extra for the fans who want a glimpse at life on the road.

DVD Two is primarily anchored by the August 2nd show at Wacken in 2007.  The concert runs just over an hour and like the numerous ‘Live at Wacken’ DVD’s all of the production standards are top notch.  In terms of live Metal shows it doesn’t get much bigger than this.  It is hard not to enjoy those frequent big sweeping boom shot soaring over the massive crowd!

Other features on the second DVD are a brief clip of the band getting a gold record for IN SORTE DIABOLI, about 100 still photos collected in a gallery, a few live songs from the P3  radio sessions and most importantly six videos. You won’t see these high quality production videos on TV, not at least very often in Canada anyway.  It is good to have them all collected here in one place. They are all high quality mini-movies with enough brimstone, blood, boobs and blasphemy to satisfy.

THE INVALUABLE DARKNESS has exceptional value for the fans.  All in total it is about five hours long and even more if you include the 57-minute bonus audio CD!   In my review of WORLD MISANTHROPY I commented that I felt that DVD was not serious enough, relying on behind-the-scenes hi-jinks a little too much.  It seems they have rectified the issue and have put a world class DVD.

On a bit of a side note, most keen fans will recognize that Dimmu Borgir has gone through three distinct phases.  The early career was most closely aligned with Black Metal, then a big stylistic shift and jump to Nuclear Blast with ENTHRONE, SPIRITUAL and PURITANICAL and then another big shift into the bombastic, symphonic sound they are known for today, starting with DEATHCULT ARMAGEDDON back in 2003. It was at this point I stopped following them quite as closely. The STORMBLAST remake was an interesting experiment but then the flame seemed to die out for me.   The reason I mention this is not because I am one of the (many) who cry ‘sell-out!’, although I do understand such comments, but I sort of drifted away from the band for no particular reason.  Now, writing this review in 2020, THE INVALUABLE DARKNESS helped rekindle my enjoyment of the band and has me wanting to re-visit the third era of the band and pay closer attention to the last three albums.


DVD 1

Sentrum Scene in Oslo, Norway – November 6, 2007:

Introduction
Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
The Serpentine Offering
The Chosen Legacy
Spellbound (By The Devil)
Sorgens Kammer Del II
The Insight And The Catharsis
Raabjørn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde
The Sacrilegious Scorn
Mourning Palace
The Fallen Arises
Columbiahalle in Berlin, Germany – October 21, 2007:

The Sinister Awakening
A Succubus In Rapture
Fear & Wonder
Blessings Upon the Throne of Tyranny
The Forum in London, UK – September 28, 2007:

Vredesbyrd
Puritania
II. Behind-The-Scenes Footage

III. Special Feature

DVD 2 

I. Wacken Open Air, Germany – Black Metal Stage – August 2, 2007

Introduction
Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Vredesbyrd
Cataclysm Children
Kings Of The Carnival Creation
Sorgens Kammer Del II
Indoctrination
A Succubus In Rapture
The Serpentine Offering
The Chosen Legacy
The Insight And The Catharsis
Spellbound (By The Devil)
Mourning Palace
The Fallen Arises
II. P3 Session – NRK Studio 19 IN Oslo, Norway – September 18, 2007

The Serpentine Offering
Spellbound (By The Devil)
Mourning Palace
III. Video Gallery

Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Vredesbyrd
Sorgens Kammer Del II
The Serpentine Offering
The Sacrilegious Scorn
The Chosen Legacy
IV. Gold Awards Oslo

V. Image Gallery

CD 

P3 Session @ NRK Studio 19 in Oslo, Norway – September 18, 2007

Introduction
Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Vredesbyrd
Sorgens Kammer Del II
Indoctrination
A Succubus In Rapture
The Serpentine Offering
The Chosen Legacy
The Insight And The Catharsis
Spellbound (By The Devil)
Mourning Palace
The Fallen Arises

Line up:

Shagrath – lead vocals
Silenoz – rhythm guitar, lead guitar in “Sorgens Kammer Del II”
Galder – lead guitar
ICS Vortex – bass guitar, clean vocals
Mustis – keyboards, piano
Tony Laureano – drums


www.dimmu-borgir.com

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