Dimmu Borgir - Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Dimmu Borgir - Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
Nuclear Blast - 2001
By Patrick

Dimmu Borgir returns after the excellent Spiritual Black Dimensions with Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (what’s with these titles?) and it is good. Leaving the Abyss studios to their copycats, Dimmu Borgir went to studio Fredmen and has upped the ante on what an extreme metal album should sound like. The reason I’m mentioning this first is because the production is the first thing I noticed when I popped in this CD. I think it is the loudest album I have ever heard, and everything is so clear and insanely heavy, it’s unreal. They have topped all in that department.

The next thing that caught my attention was the full orchestra playing the beautiful intro, “Fear and Wonder.” It’s well composed and expertly played. It lulls you with its beauty leaving you no idea what is to come…It swells up with a massive crescendo, then your head explodes and your neck comes apart because the first real song, “Blessings Upon the Throne of Tryranny,” is so insanely fast, especially for Dimmu Borgir, that you can’t keep up. Nick Barker (ex-Cradle of Filth) in occupying the drum throne (probably a really large one) on this album and he’s been practicing. The drumming is inhumanly fast. Dimmu Borgir has never been a really fast black metal band, but on this album that is changing. The blasts are faster, the double kick is faster, the fills are intense, it’s something to behold. The trigger sounds are very crisp and somewhat mechanical, but on drumming this fast that is pretty much required. The guitar riffs have gotten more melodic, and many of the riffs show the influence of Galder (Old Man’s Child).

All the elements of a Dimmu Borgir record are there, the keyboards are still present, though not as upfront in the mix, and more effective than ever. The keyboards are mixed in with a real orchestra to create some really awesome passages. Shagrath’s vocals are still some of the best in the business though he’s added some industrial type effects to some of his vocal passages. The songs are still dark and haunting and the songs still remain catchy. The vocals of ICS Vortex (who is now their full time bassist and no longer in Borknagar) are present again and masterly triumphant and haunting as hell. If anything, they don’t give him enough parts to sing. The leads on this album are not as flashy as on the last release but are more melodic and better in many ways. The songwriting has gotten better and they mix up the feelings and tempos well. An example is on “Hybrid Stigmata – the Apostacy.” Perhaps this has to do with having so many accomplished songwriters in the band now. Galder and Simen (Vortex) both have writing credits on this record. This is easily Dimmu Borgir’s best lineup and this record is their most musically accomplished album they have ever recorded.

This record isn’t perfect, however; I’m not sure what is wrong with it. For some reason I don’t go back to it over and over again like I did with Spiritual Black Dimensions and Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. What ever it is, I can’t put my finger on it. When I listen to this record, I enjoy it immensely. It’s very aggressive, very extreme, and has everything that I like on a record. Even the industrial stuff doesn’t bother me that much, though some of the vocals are a little over processed. Whatever that weird thing is, I can’t put my finger on it, and this is still a great CD. I was very impressed. If anything I expected them to soften up a bit, but instead, despite their ‘popularity’ and bad rep, they have gotten more extreme and evil than before. If you like Dimmu Borgir at all, then you should have this record, if you like extreme music or black metal, then you should pick this up. I don’t want to hear about them being sell outs or whatever. They have done no such thing and you would be missing out on a very good slab of metal.