Dimmu Borgir is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. Dimmu Borgir means "dark cities" or "dark castles/fortresses" in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The name is derived from a volcanic formation in Iceland, Dimmuborgir. The band has been through numerous line-up changes over the years; guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath are the only founding members remaining.
Dimmu Borgir's older releases (since 1992 to 1999) are, according to Allmusic journalist Bradley Torreano, strongly influenced by Darkthrone, Mayhem, Bathory, Emperor, Celtic Frost, Immortal, Venom and Iron Maiden. The band became more progressive and symphonic through the years; many black metal purists consider the band's second album, Stormblåst, to be "the act's last true contribution to black metal". Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, Dimmu Borgir's third album, "distinguished itself in two important areas, firstly forgoing their native language for English and secondly for its dramatic increase in synthesizer content". Significant experimentation started c. 2000, during the era of Spiritual Black Dimensions (due to the addition of Vortex's clean vocals, and the variety of musical ideas from then-new member Mustis), as well as Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia due to addition of influences from composers such as Antonín Dvořák, Enya, Richard Wagner and Frédéric Chopin. As the music strongly differed from the older, rawer black metal style, Jon "Metalion" Kristiansen called Spiritual Black Dimensions "a fine case of melodic, over-produced symphonic metal. If you like this melodic style I can't really think of anyone doing it better [...]. No, I wouldn't call this black metal. Read the interview with Funeral Mist for the right definition of black metal."
When you ask most new black metal fans, "What was the band that got you into this genre?", you will most likely get the reply of "Dimmu Borgir". Now, some people who claim to be "true" black metal fans discourage this. However, to them I say go to hell. This band, while not true black metal, is a very, very talented symphonic metal band. And, if you are going to try and dispute that For All Tid was not black metal, you need to seriously go take a better look at that album and compare it to others of the era. (Hell, you can compare that album to Filsofem)
Yes, it is true that Dimmu Borgir's work has strayed from true black metal. In fact, now I would call them extreme metal. Yes, extreme metal is an umbrella term used to group all sub-genres of (all extreme sub-genres that is) of metal together. For example, extreme metal encompasses death metal, black metal, thrash etc... However, with bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth running about, you cannot just stick one genre on them and call it good. Extreme metal, as a genre tag for a band, would say that the band uses elements from all forms of metal to complete a work of musical art. Now, that is how I see this band. Their more recent albums, In Sorte Dioboli and Death Cult Armageddon, show strong hints of symphonic black metal, while at the same time, bringing in a newer form of almost groove metal. You still hear the stereotypical blast beats and double bass, but you also get clear vocals, smooth guitar work, and an overall elegant feel to certain stages of songs.
Once again, some people will say that this is not real metal and this band is just a bunch of Norwegian posers. To each his own. Those people only go off and listen to the most raw, underground crap that they can find. And hey, that's all fine with me. I've listened to many underground and raw bands before. I remember when Black Funeral sounded like crap (some still say they do). To sum it all up, Dimmu Borgir is one of the best extreme metal bands around today. They attract fans from all over the world and they have sold millions of copies of their albums. Some people say that they have commercialized their music too much, but if the band wants to make money, more power to them. If you enjoy bands around the lines of Ensiferum, Immortal, and Cradle of Filth, you will almost definitely enjoy Dimmu Borgir. (Maybe not ALL of their stuff, but you will find at least one enjoyable song...) Fanart Banner