Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra (2010)

February 16, 2015
Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra (2010)

I forgot just how absolutely huge this album sounds. When it first came out I didn’t like it because it marked a notable difference in direction from the super-blast-n-bombast I expected and loved from Dimmu Borgir. In Sorte Diaboli showcased a much more streamlined, death metal type of direction for the band, and on initial listens, Abrahadabra seemed like a tame follow up, with too much chuggy chuggy boring passages borrowed from the immensely popular deathcore styles of the time. 

But time heals all wounds, and once I grew up and realised that not everything the band makes is going to sound like Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, I began to slowly love this album. Because, after all, it’s Dimmu fucking Borgir for fuck sake. Despite Abrahadabra not ranking too high in the album scales, “Gateways” is probably one of my favourite (if not my absolute favourite) Dimmu Borgir songs of all time. Granted, it starts a bit like some deathcore band with an orchestra thrown over the top of it, but from the first chorus onwards it just continues to unfold in ferocity and epicness until it just explodes into this second chorus-y part at the end which is just absolutely glorious with the backing female vocals. The message in this track is also pretty damn good, and surprisingly positive compared to Dimmu’s usual subject matter (“Tormentor of Christian Souls” anyone?).

I’m surprised it’s taken the group this long to actually make a song called “Dimmu Borgir”, but this marching, orchestral-driven anthem should be a staple of the band’s live set for many moons to come. “A Jewel Traced Through Coal” is a slightly hammy romp that harkens back to early Cradle Of Filth’s gothic romancing, before blasting head on into some greatly welcomed blastbeat craziness and Therion-grade operatics.

Are you the giver or the undertaker (whatever that means)?

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