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Dimmu Borgir - Forces of the Northern Night Award winner

Dimmu Borgir
Forces of the Northern Night
by Erika Kuenstler at 02 May 2017, 12:07 PM

Just shy of their two and a half decade anniversary, the time has finally come when DIMMU BORGIR give us a much anticipated sign that the Norwegian Symphonic Black Metal leviathans are still alive and kicking. And to remind you of this fact, this year sees them setting out with a trilogy of releases. First there was the compilation album “Dimmu Borgir”, which was included as a freebie in the February edition of the German Legacy magazine. The second is this live album, entitled “Forces of the Northern Night”, and performed with a full-scale orchestra and choir. Speculation hints at the final part of this trilogy being DIMMU BORGIR’s tenth full-length album. With their last full-length album Abrahadabra having been released way back in 2010, this is definitely something that many are eagerly awaiting.

The “Forces of the Northern Night” CD/DVD features a two performances: one by DIMMU BORGIR and KRINGKASTINGSORKESTRET, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and choir in their landmark show in Oslo. The second part is their performance from Wacken Open Air with the NATIONAL CZECH SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA. In addition to this, the DVD also contains a documentary, showcasing all the behind-the-scenes footage from Oslo, chronicling exactly how such a bombastic show comes to be.

In terms of the CD, which contains the material from the concert in Oslo, you can expect to hear all of the old DIMMU BORGIR favourites, made larger than life due to the sublime performance of the orchestra and choir. Encapsulating moments of raging and tempestuous maelstroms of swirling melodies, all the way through to sections of empyreal radiance that come floating down on wings of celestial beauty, each moment is stunningly captured, with Shagrath assuming command of all, and whipping the audience into a veritable frenzy. I’m sure there’ll be many complaining about this being a money-making spin, with DIMMU BORGIR releasing old material to make a quick buck. However, “Forces of the Northern Night” is so much more than that. Not only does it allow thousands to relive a phenomenal performance, but the magnitude of this project is just astounding. And as already mentioned, it's a good reminder of how fantastic the band can sound.

As can be expected from a release which has so much going on, there are one or two moments where the different elements don’t really gel together quite as smoothly as they could have. But this is completely to be expected, especially as this is a live performance, and not a studio recording which can be endlessly tweaked. With a crystal clear recording and production, each and every single track is allowed to shine through, giving rise to a multifaceted beast of an album that will give you goosebumps with each listen. However, I think that the most mind-blowing thing about this performance is how exceptionally tight it is. An unthinkable amount of work must have gone into coordinating the orchestra, choir, and band into one flowing and seamless whole. Just for this fact alone, “Forces of the Northern Night” is more than worth checking out.

Overall, if you weren’t one of the few who were lucky enough to catch one of these phenomenal performances live, “Forces of the Northern Night” will make you hate your life for having missed them. This release also does a very good job of reminding you of just how magnificent and crushing DIMMU BORGIR can be, whetting the appetite for the upcoming release all the more. I can also imagine that this will be a valued addition to the DIMMU BORGIR collection for avid fans of the band. However, if you’re not really into live performances, or if you’re a bit tight on cash, I’d rather suggest waiting and saving up for the new release later this year, which will surely be magniloquent.

Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Songwriting: 10
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

01. Xibir (orchestra)
02. Born Treacherous
03. Gateways
04. Dimmu Borgir (orchestra)
05. Dimmu Borgir
06. Chess With The Abyss
07. Ritualist
08. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
09. Eradication Instincts Defined (orchestra)
10. Vredesbyrd
11. Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
12. The Serpentine Offering
13. Fear And Wonder (orchestra)
14. Kings Of The Carnival Creation
15. Puritania
16. Mourning Palace
17. Perfection Or Vanity (orchestra)
Shagrath - vocals
Silenoz - guitar
Galder - guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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