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D

Dark Funeral - "Diabolis Interium" (No Fashion Records, CD, 2001)
After the EP "Teach Children how to Worship Satan" in the last year, Dark Funeral are back, this time with a full-length album - Diabolis Interium.
Vobiscum Satanas was released in 1998 and was considered by many the most brutal Blackmetal album ever, after such a fast and powerful release everyone thought that Dark Funeral would follow a more technical and "slow" approach for the following records, but that didn't happened, this album is even faster and brutal than the previous Dark Funeral releases.
Their sound is still quite the same has it was on the previous releases, the better way to describe the sound for this new record is a combination between "Vobiscum Satanas" and "The Secrets of the Black Arts". This similarity with the other albums is bad in one hand, but good in another. The good part is that they don't let their sound go "softer" as many of the bands nowadays, but the bad part is the almost inexistent evolution. But in my opinion the good part overcomes the bad part, because it's not common nowadays to see a band that stays faithful to its roots and don't follows any trend!
This third "Satanic Symphony" is the most complex Dark Funeral album to date, they improved a little bit technically, but where you can see the biggest evolution is in the composition of the songs, much more professional now.
If you don't have the previous Dark Funeral albums run to the nearest store and buy this album immediately, but if you have the previous albums I still recommend this album, but in a less emphasizing way.

Tracklist:
1 - Arrival of Satan's Empire
2 - Hail Murder
3 - Goddess of Sodomy
4 - Diabolis Interium
5 - An Apprentice of Satan
6 - Thus I Have Spoken
7 - Armageddon Finally Comes
8 - Heart of Ice

18/20 if you don't have the previous albums

16/20 if you have the previous albums

Shemahmforash

Dark Funeral - "Vobiscum Satanas" (No Fashion Records, CD, 1998)
After the very well received debut album "The Secrets of the Black Arts" here is the second album from this Swedish Blackmetal band.
Dark Funeral didn't change a bit since their first album in 1996, this album is even faster and brutal than its predecessor, I think this is the faster Blackmetal album to date!
The main differences in this album compared with the first one, are the production, much more clear now and leaving behind the typical raw sound, and the voice, they have a new vocalist - Emperor Magus Caligula - that has a very different voice than Themgoroth had, but being nonetheless great.
The lyrics are Satanic at its most extreme facet, there aren't a song that the word "Satan" doesn't appear.
The worst part of this album is the resemblances between the songs, special in their first few seconds, so if you listen only to the beginning of the several songs, you will certainly think that Dark Funeral have a utter lack of creativity.
This album brings Dark Funeral to the leading position of the most extreme Blackmetal bands, side by side with Marduk! A must if you like Blackmetal at its most extreme level!

Tracklist:
1 - Ravenna Strigoi Mortii
2 - Enriched by Evil
3 - Thy Legions Come
4 - Evil Prevail
5 - Slava Satan
6 - The Black Winged Horde
7 - Vobiscum Satanas
8 - Ineffable King of Darkness

17/20

Shemahmforash

Decayed - "The Book of Darkness" (Drakkar Productions, CD, 2000)
Everyone inside the portuguese metal scene must know this band that already counts with 10 years of existence. First they were called Decay, but some time later decided to add "ed" to their moniker. This was the band's fourth album, with more covers than originals. Anyway, this trio was and will always be influenced by the almighty Bathory and Venom, they're one of the few Lusitanian bands that are still into old-fashioned Black metal just like it was made back in the glorious 80's. They've always used a drum machine and in my opinion that's their only "disadvantage", because there's no proper cymbals and toms sound...even the breaks are a bit defective. Anyway, and concerning this album...the influences - both ideologically and musically - are the same (Venom and Bathory), the songs once again alternate between fast and mid-paced rhythms, with some good solos throughout them. About the covers featured, they're from bands such as Celtic Frost, Bathory, Sodom, Death, Venom, etc (what were you expecting?); but the most surprising one is from George Thorogood (all the band members are still into rock'n roll, that's the reason). As J.A (guitar) said, the inclusion of all these covers was a small tribute to the 80's and the influence this decade had on the band.

Tracklist:
1 - Death Chimes Of Armageddon
2 - Sacrificial Rites
3 - Tribulation 
4 - Rise At Dusk
5 - Cthol Mishrak (Of Endless Night)
6 - Flesh to Ashes
7 - Halls of Torment
8 - Into the Crypts of Rays (Celtic Frost cover)
9 - Call From The Grave (Bathory cover)
10 - The Return Of The Darkness And Evil (Bathory cover)
11 - Bad To The Bone (George Thorogood cover)
12 - Blasphemer (Sodom cover)
13 - Touch Too Much (Ac-Dc cover)
14 - Infernal Death (Death cover)
15 - In League With Satan (Venom cover)
16 - Witching Hour (Venom cover)

15,5/20

Damned

Dimmu Borgir - "Enthrone Darkness Triumphant" (Nuclear Blast, CD, 1996)
By the time this album was released Dimmu Borgir were already reasonably known, but this was their great breakthrough. This was one of the first albums to be recorded in the Abyss Studios, produced by the well-known Peter Tagtgren, and it sure brought great feedback to the owner of the studio - the production is excellent, all instruments are very audible and form together a great mix. It all begins with "mourning palace", to many the most atmospheric song ever recorded by the band, and indeed a very good song; by listening to it you can guess how the rest of the album is: very commercial (I'm not saying this in a bad way, but it is WAY different from the raw black metal stuff (darkthrone, burzum...)), aggressive vocals, "evil" lyrics, basic guitar chords performed under more or less complex leads, epic synthesizers, not bad drums... Some songs are more aggressive than others (listen to "tormentor of christian souls", for the best brutal song of the album), but they're generally in the same wave. This is a very competent band, and with a great future, for they are very young, but this isn't a classic album. I mean, it is a very easy-listening one, it will surely sell shitloads, and it has got very memorable moments, like the 2 songs I mentioned above, but that doesn't mean it is extraordinary stuff. Everybody knows an album doesn't have to be extremely good to sell well. This one here puts Dimmu Borgir in the 1st division of the Black Metal squad, but there are bands (like Emperor, for example), which are still much better, although being less easy to listen to.

Tracklist:
1 - Mourning Palace
2 - Spellbound (by the Devil)
3 - In Death's Embrace
4 - Relinquishment of Spirit and Flesh
5 - The Night Masquerade
6 - Tormentor of Christian Souls
7 - Entrance
8 - Master of Disharmony
9 - Prudence's Fall
10 - A Succubus in Rapture

15/20

Zoid

Dimmu Borgir  -"Spiritual Black Dimensions" (Nuuclear Blast, CD, 1999)
One of the most commercially successful "extreme" metal bands in the world is back, with "spiritual black dimensions". Many expectation were set after "enthrone darkness triumphant" - would Dimmu Borgir become sell-outs, would their next album have a totally different approach, this time only towards money-making? No. Well, "spiritual black dimensions" is very accessible, more than many would like a black metal record to be, but don't get fooled, this is good stuff. This is Dimmu Borgir's most varied album: the songs here range from the unbelievably epic and majestic ("the insight and the catharsis", for ex.) to the very quick and brutal (the beginning of "united in unhallowed grace", for ex.), always in the famous Dimmu Borgir style. But most of the album is submersed not in a brutal, but in a majestic aura. Such is helped out by the new members - Astennu, a fantastic lead player who created outstanding melodies, giving dimmu a new characteristic that so many bands lack - technical excellence; Simen Hestnes, from Borknagar, that with his highly skilled clean vocals managed to proportionate great epic moments to the album; Mustis, a young talented keyboard player, that without being the greatest genius in the world managed to create great keyboard lines for the album. Speaking of vocals, Shagrath proves once again that he is one of the best vocalists out there, with a very aggressive and solid voice; the lyrics are in the same way, more abstract now. About the rhythm base of the band - Silenoz continues to deliver fierce rhythms, now better than ever, always in the vein that made Dimmu famous; a slight remark goes to the drums - Tjodalv is a good drummer, but he is miles away from the genre leaders, like Hellhammer for example (Mayhem's drummer even used to give lessons to him, so you can see...). This album, which is dimmu's most complex (and to many the band's best) will sell a lot, everybody knows that. But that doesn't mean it is bad. However, if you are one of those "true" black metal fans, I guess you will curse this album and the whole band; don't know what you're loosing :)

Tracklist:
1 - Reptile
2 - Behind the Curtains of Night Phantasmagoria
3 - Dreamside Dominions
4 - United in Unhallowed Grace
5 - The Promised Future Aeons
6 - The Blazing Monoliths of Defiance
7 - The Insight and the Catharsis
8 - Grotesquery Conceiled (Within Measureless Magic)
9 - Arcane Lifeforce Mysteria

17/20

Zoid

Dimmu Borgir – "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia" (Nuclear Blast, CD, 2001)
Many expectations where in the air about this new album, because people wanted to know how would Dimmu Borgir react to the absence of Astennu, their previous and mythic lead guitarist, and to the "acquisition" of the new drummer – Nick Barker (ex-Cradle of Filth).
The first thing one notices when listening to this record is that it’s much more brutal then the previous ones. But it’s not only brutality, the "atmospheric" synth parts that dominated the previous recordings are still present.
About the new "acquisitions", Nick’s drums fit perfectly in the new Dimmu Borgir sound, but the band wasn't able to find a "real" successor for Astennu, you notice that specially in the constant absence of solos. Nick in this album proved that he is a very skillful drummer, and I think that the drums’ sound is much better here in Dimmu (much more studio work), that in C.o.F.
A remark to this album is the lack of clean vocals compared with Spiritual Black Dimensions, I don’t understand why they didn’t use more clean vocals parts, specially being Simen Hestnes, now, a permanent member of the band which is for me the best in the metal scene when it comes to clean vocals.
About the visuals, everyone knows that Dimmu Borgir have lost their Blackmetal style (did they have it once?), and besides the trends of showing stripped girls in covers and something like that, which makes them sell a lot, one thing I have to congratulate Dimmu Borgir about, they've created a personal sound, being somewhat original in today's scene.
The weak part of this album is the experimental and electronic song "Hybrid Stigmata (The Apostasy)", besides that this is quite a good album, even the ones who say that Dimmu Borgir are a sell-offs should take time to appreciate this release.

Tracklist:
1 - Fear and Wonder (Intro)
2 - Blessings upon The Throne of Tyranny
3 - Kings of The Carnival Creation
4 - Hybrid Stigmata-The Apostasy
5 - Architecture of A Genocidal Nature
6 - Puritania
7 - IndoctriNation
8 - The Maelstrom Mephisto
9 - Absolute Sole Right
10 - Sympozium
11 - Perfection or Vanity

17/20

Shemahmforash

Dimmu Borgir - "For All Tid" (re-released by Nuclear Blast, CD, 1998)
First release of the well known Norwegian Dimmu Borgir...a highly melodic and atmospheric album, the beginning of their well succeeded career. Nuclear Blast was the responsible for this re-release, now with 2 tracks from the band's first demo (wich I still never had the chance to hear). The structure of the songs here featured is quite simple, can be described as a reasonable combination between the [also] very simple guitar riffing, mid-paced drumming and some mesmerizing atmospheric parts. About the production of this album, it is quite defective: the guitars' sound seems very distant and sometimes it can't be very well distinguished and the keyboards perform here a very important role therefore they muffle the guitars (wich is something I just abominate meaningfully). About Shagrath's vocals, they're typically harsh (with some screams through the middle) and very reverbed. All the song's lyrics are written in Norwegian, wich for me is symonimous of "I can't understand a shit of what he's saying". Nice cover artwork

Tracklist:
1- Det Nye Riket
2 - Under Korpens Vinger
3 - Over Bleknende Blåner Til Dommedag
4 - Stien
5 - Glittertind
6 - For All Tid
7 - Hunnerkongens Sorgsvarte Ferd Over Steppene
8 - Raabjørn speiler Draugheimens Skodde
9 - Den Gjemte Sannhets Hersker
10 - Inn I Evighetens Mørke, Part 1 (bonustrack)
11 - Inn I Evighetens Mørke, Part 2 (bonustrack)

13,5/20

Damned

Dissection - "Storm of the Light's Bane" (Nuclear Blast, CD, 1995)
After "The Somberlain" here is the second album from this Swedish band. And what an album this is! I think that they've had a great evolution since "The Somberlain", because everything here is much superior to their debut album. Starting by the technical work allied with the very good production that allows us to distinguish some great technical details, specially in the drums part.
About the composition of the songs, they ally some mid-paced moments with devastating high speed parts getting an excellent result, in almost every song there is an acoustical part that really takes their songs to an higher level.
The lyrics are also great, with some Blackmetal topics but nothing of the traditional "fuck-christ" lyrics, here the lyrics describe dark atmospheres and dark characters (in a great way).
This was the second and last full album of Dissection. Due to their vocalist being arrested they've never recorded nothing new until now, but he is going to be released soon, and I certainly hope that they record another albums, because "Storm of the Light's Bane" is for sure one of the albums that will stay forever in my Playlist.

Tracklist:
1 - At The Fathomless Depths
2 - Night's Blood
3 - Unhallowed
4 - Where Dead Angels Lie
5 - Retribution - Storm Of The Light's Bane
6 - Thorns Of Crimson Death
7 - Soulreaper
8 - No Dreams Breed In Breathless Sleep

Note: Legion participated in the recordings of this album, as back vocalist in the song Thorns Of Crimson Death.

18,5/20

Shemahmforash

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