The masters of symphonic black metal, Dimmu Borgir return this year with their ninth studio observation “Abrahadabra” to prove their mastery. After some vital line-up changes and a three year absence of new material, they certainly have much to grow attention upon them.

Built differently than their previous releases, this new material sounds rather bizarre and complex. Dimmu Borgir really moved forward on this one as far as their compositions are concerned. These new songs are of course full of their trademark sound, such as high-speed guitar riffs, Shagrath’s brutal vocals, weird, dark and epic passages, extreme rhythmic patterns and drumming and a whole orchestra of 100 musicians brought in the front, to create a unique sounding album! But although this reads appealing there’s something missing…

After many releases and having a unique music profile established with their own sound, there seems to be at least one element missing and that’s Vortex’s paranoid performance. Although, Snowy Shaw’s vocal lines are as well intriguing and of high intelligence, they have nothing to do with the final result Vortex’s lines had on previous releases. Another element that has completely changed the sound on this one, is the heavily used orchestral parts, that almost cover the music itself in many parts of the record. I guess that was on purpose, but it sounds really awkward to hear growls and black metal at its finest, covered by big fat orchestral strings and brass. Surely this release proves, to themselves and anyone that would doubt their musicianship, that Dimmu Borgir are not here by chance but they are grown up intelligent musicians, that know who to write music and not just metal riffs…

Compared to their past, this release is certainly sounding more as the soundtrack for the apocalypse, rather than the album that came next to “Puritanical…” or “In Sorte Diaboli”…If you can handle with an orchestra next to heavy dark Dimmu Borgir atmosphere, then probably “Abrahadabra” will bring you shivers down your spine! For me though, the orchestra became somehow too much!!! You should all take the chance to filter this one from your own prisma, because this is truly music creativity without boundaries!

Track List Line Up
01. Xibir
02. Born Treacherous
03. Gateways
04. Chess With The Abyss
05. Dimmu Borgir
06. Ritualist
07. The Demiurge Molecule
08. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
09. Renewal
10. Endings And Continuations
Shagrath – lead vocals, keyboards
Silenoz – rhythm guitar
Galder – lead guitar