Review: Dimmu Borgir – Eonian 7.5

  • Dimmu Borgir
  • Eonian
  • Black metal
  • Norway
  • 2018

I haven’t listened to Dimmu Borgir since I was a teenager, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Their last original LP came out eight years ago apparently, not including the live album in 2017 or compilation CD’s. This album at the very least prompted me to go back through Dimmu Borgir’s discography which has a lot of great music. They have been doing it for a long time and if nothing else they are experienced composers and musicians. I don’t remember them being so symphonic, but I dig it. It’s not to the level of Cradle of Filth, they remain far more progressive in their gothic metal styling. Agathodomain comes to mind.

Eonian is a tight album that appeals to the early 2000’s black metal charm without sounding dated or irrelevant. Everything flows together, and everyone performs without faults. They are still a good band and clearly haven’t neglected their skills on the long break between LPs. They haven’t refined or evolved their style a whole lot either, but it’s done with competency and finesse. They have maintained their signature sound and aesthetic.

They shine the spotlight on the keys quite often which are well composed and add a lot to the atmosphere. They can be whimsical and playful at times as opposed to trying to be dark. It doesn’t try too hard to sound satanic or demonic like they have often done in the past. It’s a more mature work. The high notes and solos from the guitars are nice, I enjoy the tones they are using. It’s evocative of some fantasy setting like The Hobbit. If you like an album with a continuous flow to listen to while studying or whatever then this is a good pick. It accompanied my recent Dark Souls 3 run well.

With the playfulness also comes less force. It doesn’t feel so extreme as some of their other albums, almost being played with the posturing of classical music. There’s a lot of moments that use a chanting choir that creates an epic feel like it could be a gothic musical. A solid track is Council of Wolves and Snakes, It starts off with some awesome riffs played over controlled bursts of tremolo picking that compliments it well. It has a lot of classic black metal elements in this one track with a variety of vocals and even a clean guitar interlude.

Overall, its high in quality and enjoyable to listen to. It’s not particularly memorable or revolutionary. It is however a familiar and welcome sound to me and I’m sure to many metalheads. I have a soft spot for the cheese that comes with symphonic black metal. Considering the number of bands from the last couple of years that tried and failed to have a comeback, Dimmu Borgir are on the right path by not rocking the boat too much.

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