Emerging shortly after the expulsion of Norway’s underground black metal scene into the light mainstream rock media, Dimmu Borgir took the raw elements of their predecessors along with prolific satanic imagery and gave it a produced lavish dressing.
This for some individuals marked Dimmu’s move from true Black Metal, however just because Dimmu wants their message and sound to be heard with precision and not like a wasp caught in a washing machine, does that mean they should be hounded for it?
`Eonian` marks Dimmu’s return and remarkably 7 long years have passed since `Abrahadabra`, where the band heralded a monumental shift to the mainstay of 3 core members.
So what about the tracks in general?
Let’s commence with the album opener ` The Unveiling`. Ultimately, this is a perfect introduction to the album, although most tracks on here would be able to supplement this with ease as the opener. It really showcases the strengths of Dimmu; the track doesn’t pummel its respective audience into submission. In fact, the track takes its musical journey through peaks and turns with Shagrath’s distinctive vocals piercing through the layers of orchestral sounds. What it does offer is space within the music, the moments where as a listener it’s not all blasting or all lavish orchestral sections, there’s a ideal amount of both intertwined.
Tackling one of the two singles that the band have so far released, `Council of Wolves and Snakes`, which comes in at around 5 minutes and 20 seconds. It opens at a slow methodical pace, until it builds the eeriness before the distinctive sound of dual guitars tremolo picking a pretty recognisable black metal medley. With similarity to the other tracks on `Eonian` it does follow a set path, it allows the music to breathe. It uses the choir and orchestra musical elements to create space before it unleashes into the ferocity that Dimmu unleash at tasteful moments.
Without pouring any water over `Eonian’, it’s does feel a little standard practice for what you’d expect from Dimmu Borgir outing. The bombastic tracks are delivered with mammoth orchestral sections coupled with aggressive vocals along with ripping guitars all wrapped up in lavish production parcel tape.
Yet, although the album as a whole showcases Dimmu’s grand strengths, it’s all a bit of a standard formula; it doesn’t really push the envelope in ways that they used to. Although, that being said they’ve once again shown that time is only numbers and they’ve produced another album of blockbuster proportion.
9/10 – Eonian once again shows that Dimmu hit the mark.
Stand out tracks:
`The Unveiling’, `Council of Wolves and Snakes` and `AETheric`
1. The Unveiling
2. Interdimensional Summit
4. Council of Wolves and Snakes
5. The Empyrean Phoenix
7. I Am Sovereign
8. Archaic Correspondence
9. Alpha Aeon Omega
10. Rite of Passage
Dimmu Borgir online: