“Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” (reloaded) by Dimmu Borgir

Artist: Dimmu Borgir
Title: “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” (reloaded edition)
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/2/2008
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Rating: 4/5

“Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” was the third album for Norway’s Black Metal elite Dimmu Borgir and their first release on Nuclear Blast Records. It was an album that was met with some level of controversy based on how it was musically composed and about the label that the band had chosen to sign onto. Those who considered themselves “truer” to the Black Metal cause felt that with these actions Dimmu had indeed sold out but those who took the time to listen to it learned that the band had simply evolved to the next level of performance and delivery. Initially released in 1997, the album comes to us in 2008 as one of the Nuclear Blast Records “reloaded” editions and as result receives a production upgrade and has additional features built into it. Traditional Black Metal is not music that I would recommend to everyone since it might contain terms and references deemed offensive by certain people but I feel that when it touches upon the Symphonic edge as Dimmu Borgir began to manifest with this album that the demographic is a little easier to expand upon. “EDT” is a fantastic step in a new direction for a band that is destined to become leaders in the Symphonic Black Metal genre and as “Mourning Palace” kicks off the release you are immediately presented with a brooding and dramatic piece that proves this change has promise in the bands style.

The heaviness and overall darkness prevalent in their earlier material didn’t suffer at all with these changes and one finds this out in the now classic “The Night Masquerade” or “Spellbound (By The Devil)”. The tracks are still Black Metal in nature but now received enhancements by way of classical arrangements and healthy doses of keyboards. Looking back on the release after following Dimmu Borgir for a few years I can safely say that this is a good place to begin one’s investigation into the genre as it is not as over the top blasphemous as some of their competition can be and musically this is just a very enticing release which is very easy to find oneself addicted to. It is laden with mood and atmosphere and since this was where their own changes began is only the first taste of the expanding menu to come. A booklet is included and while loaded with artwork it only shows us the band on the final page. There is also a bonus track added on to the end and this is sung in the bands native Norwegian. If you don’t own the original version then it’s advisable to sink your teeth into the reloaded edition to better absorb the Symphonic Black Metal beginnings of one of the industry’s most powerful bands.

Enhanced Part: “Entrance” (live video clip), Photo Gallery, Winamp Skins, Screensaver.
*** The enhanced portion of the “reloaded” CD was a mix of ok and I couldn’t care less when it came right down to it and this was based on the actual contents provided. The first and best item would be the live video from the Dynamo Festival where we see a young Dimmu Borgir throttling the masses with the song “Entrance”. Of course having only one clip makes this a very cruel tease for those who seek archival footage from the band. I also didn’t like that you had to download it to play it; I didn’t see another option and felt that it could have been launched from the CD itself to save listeners a step. The next part which I enjoyed was the photos from around the time period of the albums release. It again presents the band as it was during the time and makes for a relevant inclusion. The photos are not amazing, but still pretty good and show the band was always out to make sure that you remembered them. The stuff that applied to my couldn’t care less list fell to screen savers and winamp skins because I just don’t find myself entertained by such features anymore. Perhaps you disagree with me and love this kind of stuff but considering the body of work in image and music that this band has these options are just filler.

Track Listing:
1. Mourning Palace
2. Spellbound (By The Devil)
3. In Death’s Embrace
4. Relinquishment Of Spirit And Flesh
5. The Night Masquerade
6. Tormenter Of Christian Souls
7. Entrance
8. Master of Disharmony
9. Prudence’s Fall
10. A Succubus in Rapture
11. Raabjørn speiler Draugheimens Skodde (bonus)

Official Website: www.dimmu-borgir.com

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