Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dimmu Borgir `Forces Of The Northern Night` DVD Review


Dimmu Borgir has been rather quiet in recent years, yet 2017 is the return of the Norwegian trio. For those not aware of the Norwegian Black Metal scene, Dimmu formed during the peak of the wave’s popularity and have been through a lot as most bands have with over 20 years under their belts and certainly notably in past few years when their numbers ultimately decreased to trio of Shagrath, Silenoz and Galder. 

2017 marks their return, while they are back in the studio recording their first album in 7 years, Dimmu have put out `Forces Of The Northern Night` which is roughly 3 hours + of two concerts. First is Dimmu’s home town soirĂ©e complete with full orchestra and choir which also includes a spiffing documentary on how the process happened. The 2nd concert is their 2012 headline slot at Wacken also containing an orchestra.

Let’s chat the first disc, Dimmu have in Black Metal terms always been on the edge, adding in more symphonic elements than bands like Emperor etc, although Emperor certainly had elements of that within their sound. So to think that one day, Dimmu would play live with a full orchestra and choir isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination, yet it shows just what Norway thinks of their cultural exports for their primary orchestra to join up with a Black Metal band. The orchestra lends itself so well to the Dimmu ethos, adding so much bombastic tones to the mix as well helping to cover over certain vocal parts that were primarily taken on by ex-members. The only downside to the show was that they, the orchestra were partially concealed behind two large scrims. 

Tracks such as `Mourning Palace`, `Progenies of the Great Apocalypse` and `Gateways` lend themselves incredibly well to added instrumentation, for Dimmu fans who’ve heard these tracks a million times both live and on their devices that this may change it up for them and gives not only these tracks but all the tracks on `Forces` another dimension. 

Also on Disc 1 is a 30 minute documentary that takes us through the journey of Dimmu meets the Orchestra, it takes you via Dimmu’s role within Black Metal or out of the scene, also looks at the rehearsal’s, the set up of the actual show and all of the fans that came along from far and wide for the thrill of a Dimmu show. 

The 2nd disc and one that I seem to write a lot is another headline slot at Wacken, certainly it’s a more stripped down version of what you get at the Oslo concert. Yet, it still loses very little in terms of overall punch especially as the night time sky eclipses the crowd and allows the Dimmu show to really exist in full flow compared to the early portion still bathed in the warm glow of sun. 

Unlike the Oslo show, Wacken isn’t just about Dimmu Borgir so the crowd isn’t just there for them but are certainly very receptive of the band as the band deliver another spectacle of a show, I mean it’s Kiss meets Black Metal, full of that spectacular rock show with added infusion of Satanism and anti-religious tones. 

Even as I mentioned, a stripped down version of the Oslo show, it still loses none of its grandeur with songs like `Dimmu Borgir` and `Progenies of the Great Apocalypse` stand up so well and personally, I feel that after seeing them at Wacken with an orchestra it would be a come down for any subsequent show without this accompaniment. 

Overall, this DVD pack encompasses exactly what Dimmu have accomplished and certainly what Black Metal means nowadays to Norway as a cultural export, certainly allowing them to have use of such a prominent orchestra. Still the two concerts showcase exactly what Dimmu as a vision is, it’s grandiose, bombastic and downright larger than life. Bringing in the extra symphonic work here is definitely a treat for the crowds in attendance and the band’s watching.

10/10- Simply put if you’re a fan, go pick this up now! 

Stand out tracks Oslo:
`Mourning Palace`, `Gateways` and `Progenies of the Great Apocalypse`

Track listing Oslo:
1. Xibir (Orchestra)
2. Born Treacherous
3. Gateways
4. Dimmu Borgir (Orchestra)
5. Dimmu Borgir
6. Chess With The Abyss
7. Ritualist
8. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
9. Eradication Instincts Defined (Orchestra)
10. Vredesbyrd
11. Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse 
12. The Serpentine Offering 
13. Fear And Wonder (Orchestra)
14. Kings Of The Carnival Creation 
15. Puritania 
16. Mourning Palace
17. Perfection Or Vanity (Orchestra)
18. Documentary

Stand out tracks Wacken:
`Progenies of the Great Apocalypse` and `Dimmu Borgir` 

Track Listing Wacken:
1. Xibir (Orchestra)
2. Born Treacherous
3. Gateways
4. Dimmu Borgir (Orchestra)
5. Dimmu Borgir
6. Chess With The Abyss
7. Ritualist
8. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
9. Eradication Instincts Defined (Orchestra)
10. Vredesbyrd
11. Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse 
12. The Serpentine Offering 
13. Fear And Wonder (Orchestra)
14. Kings Of The Carnival Creation 
15. Puritania 
16. Mourning Palace
17. Perfection Or Vanity (Orchestra)

Dimmu Borgir on the net: