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Dimmu Borgir - Stormblast

2005 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by skeksis on 2006-04-08

Many metal heads consider Dimmu's Stormblast to be the point where the band separated themselves from the ever growing legions of Scandinavian black metal bands. For me personally, I disagree about the status of that release, preferring the much more refined and better crafted Enthroned Darkness Triumphant opus that followed. None the less, that release on Cacophony Records (are they even still around?) can be rather difficult to find, so the Dimmu boys (well, just Shagrath and Silenoz anyway) saw fit to rerecord that album with today's updated recording technology and using hired stickman Hellhammer (ex-every damn band you can think of and some obscure band called Mayhem). According to interviews with the remaining two original members of that line up, it was to update the sound, and that they did. It sounds exactly like Enthroned, and that's a given since it was recorded in the same place by the same dude (Peter Tagtgren in Abyss Studios). Although the sound on Stormblast wasn't the greatest, it wasn't the worst out there. And yes, the sound does sound modern but to say it was an improvement is an overstatement. Testament rerecording their old stuff was an improvement. The Megadeth remasters were an improvement. This merely sounds better. Hellhammer does his stuff on the drums like, well, like he always does, which means playing stupid fast and precise. Shagrath has lost a lot of his edge over the years, sound more and more like Abbath from Immortal. If you compare any of his vocals on the last three releases to his performance on Enthroned, than you'll see what I mean. Add to that the really poor album cover (the original was so much more cooler looking) and the fact that the bands original logo is now where to be found make this such a half baked affair. The disc I bought came with an extra live DVD with 5 tracks taken from their jaunt on Ozzfest earlier in 2005. At first it sounds like a cool idea until you watch and realize how boring it is. The band is so out of their element playing during the day on a huge stage it's ridiculous. Add to that the boring and uninspired performance they give, by the second song your thinking of ways to make excuses to the store so they'll take it back for a refund. Enthroned Darkness Triumphant was such a important and pivotal release that it's a fucking crying shame the band is releasing such a obvious cash in. Sure, the original is hard to find, but I highly doubt it needed to be rerecorded. The band claim that they did it for themselves because they were never happy with the sound and that's cool and their decision completely. I'm just the schmuck who shelled out the money to buy it. Now, quit dicking around, get a drummer and record something new for Christ sake.