Dimmu Borgir - 'Eonian'

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Dimmu Borgir - 'Eonian'

Beautiful yet savage, this is a perfect musical reflection of the turbulent era we live in.

After an eight-year silence, Dimmu Borgir have returned, and not a moment too soon. In an era when Symphonic giants like Nightwish fill arenas, then it's only a small step to accept these Symphonic extremists into the same fold where, by the way, they rightly belong. The core of the band remains unchanged since 'Abrahadabra'; vocalist Shagrath, guitarists Silonez and Galder, drummer Daray, keyboard wizard Gerlioz, and bass guitarist Cyrus. The band is in monstrous form, and the long break has clearly left them energised and hungry to retake the throne they rightly deserve.

'Eonian' is truly an album of extremes, being more scything and brutally savage than they have sounded since 'Death Cult Armageddon', yet conversely more grandiosely melodic through colossal orchestration, and more bombastic with the use of a hugely impressive choir counterpointing Shagrath's visceral howl. Fans of Melodic Rock may love the music, yet his demonic vocals may equally drive others far away. It's these divergences that make the album so thoroughly thrilling for this humble scribe.

The choice of 'Interdimensional Summit' as the lead-off single has been an inspired choice, perfectly illustrating the light and dark balance of this colossal Magnum Opus. Producer Jens Bogren has captured the band's aural magnificence to dark perfection, and the sound is simply all encompassing!

'I Am Sovereign' is a tour de force, its middle-eastern influences creating a wonderful atmosphere, hauntingly beautiful as well as breathtakingly powerful. 'Council Of Wolves And Snakes' is a classic call to arms, a cold anthem to malevolence. 'Lightbringer' is the most traditional "old school" BM song, sweepingly lavish and otherworldly in feel, whilst 'Archaic Correspondence' is neck-snappingly heavy, a thunderous cacophony of raw power. 'Alpha Aeon Omega' is a track driven by Daray's breakneck drumming; it's an outrageous anthem to the world of shadows and evil. Finally 'Rite Of Passage' is a sombre instrumental, the calm after the storm, and is a perfect way to close matters.

Beautiful yet savage, this is a perfect musical reflection of the turbulent era we live in.

Chris O'Connor

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