Monday, September 1, 2014

Live: Dimmu Borgir – O2 Academy 2, Birmingham – 26/11/2011

Monday, November 28, 2011, 17:43
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One of the most popular and well known bands to come out of the Black Metal scene, coupled with the fact that they were playing one of their classic albums in its entirety, it came as no surprise to see the masses of fans already queuing up outside upon arrival, some adorning corpse paint that is so well associated with the genre.

Labeled ‘An Evening With Dimmu Borgir’, all throughout the tour, the fans were treated to two sets, one of them chosen by the fans themselves with the choice of which one of three classic DIMMU BORGIR albums would be played. The sublime ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’ was the victor of the poll, and although it may be 14 years old, every track from it sounded as crisp, clean and fresh as the day it was recorded, showing that good material never sounds dated!

Picking stand out tracks from the first set is nigh on impossible with whole of it being a real highlight, but hearing a couple of my absolute favourites from ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’ in the form of opening number ‘Mourning Palace’ and the awesome melodic tinged ‘In Death’s Embrace’ always puts a smile on my face, while blistering renditions of ‘Relinquishment of Spirit And Flesh’ and the equally destructive ‘Tormentor of Christian Souls’ kept the crowd fist pumping and headbanging.

Slower and more harmonious numbers like ‘Entrance’ and ‘A Succubus In Rapture’ were also well received with the latter being dedicated to all the ladies in attendance, before ‘Raabjørn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde’, which I have trouble pronouncing let alone spelling, closed the first set. The sound was superb throughout both sets and really enhanced the atmosphere in the venue, with Shagrath‘s vocals sounding as impressive as ever, along with the synths, guitars and drums all being near enough at the exact right levels in the mix for what was a pleasure on the auditory senses to all concerned.

Opening the next set with a drum solo from Daray, DIMMU BORGIR returned to the stage, complete with change of clothing reminiscent of the ones from the ‘Gateways’ video, and kicked straight into the scintillating ‘Vredesbyrd’, before we got the first real apparent use of backing tracks in the form of ex-bassist Vortex‘s clean vocals on ‘Kings of The Carnival Creation’.

With latest album ‘Abrahadabra’ being out now for over a year, this was the first chance I got to check out some of the new material live, and on offer was the likes of ‘Ritualist’ and ‘Gateways’, both of which transferred well into the live arena, but the self titled ‘Dimmu Borgir’ particularly stood out and had an epic feel to it, especially as the crowd shouted Dimmu Borgir! when conducted to do so by Shagrath.

A crushing rendition of ‘Puritania’ sent the crowd into a headbanging frenzy once more, before the encore closed off proceedings for the night with killer displays of ‘The Serpentine Offering’ and ‘Progenies of The Great Apocalypse’ giving the fans one last chance soak up the atmosphere. As DIMMU BORGIR left the stage, an outro tape of ‘Perfection Or Vanity’ was played, which really topped of a night that everyone in attendance is going to recall for some time to come. An evening definitely well spent with one of the finest black metal bands in the genre, DIMMU BORGIR!

Rating: 4.8/5.0

Review By Adam Fredericks

Photography By Alex Shaw (Dimmu Borgir photo gallery)

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