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Monday, 21 November 2011

Live & Dangerous 19: Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir (Great Hall 2 Cardiff)

Again we arrive at the Great Hall 2 (the Great Hall curtained off) but this time just to see one band. Billed as an evening with Dimmu Borgir this was two sets from possibly the best Norwegian Black Metal band around. The first was a complete performance of their seminal Enthrone Darkness Triumphant album which was one of their first albums to include the orchestral flourishes that they are now known for. Despite not being the biggest Black Metal fan and not really having too much Dimmu stuff the performance was fantastic with the set roaring past with pace and precision with every song meaning horns in the air and voices chanting. There was a reasonably big crowd yet the gig still felt intimate with the band playing on top form. The sound was not great for the first three songs from what I could hear (I had an ear infection so earplugs for me I'm afraid) with Shagrath's vocals suffering but then then sound came alive with the roars and growls coming clear as Hell itself. Giving the fans a break from the madness there was a brief intermission with a drum solo after the break had ended which was the start of the 'greatest hits' set, of these Ritualist, Puritania, The Serpentine Offering and the terrific Gateways were the highlights. The band showed that they are one of the best live prospects on the scene with Shagrath easily getting the crowd to follow his every satanic verse and the dual guitars of Silenoz and the heavyweight Galder were riffing like demons over the frenetic blast beating of Daray easily mimicking the style of original drummer Tjodalv. Even the clean vocals of former bassist ICS Vortex were not missed as all backing vocals were done from backing tapes as were the orchestral elements. In short this was a great show that validates the statement I made about them at the beginning. Some may say they sold out by changing the Black Metal formula and adding symphonic elements but I think this makes them all the better. 9/10

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