Dimmu Borgir - Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
Nuclear Blast
Black Metal
11 songs (56:40)
Release year: 1997
Dimmu Borgir, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Jay

Some albums you just know are going to be huge. Such was the case with Dimmu Borgir’s Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. They had just been signed to Nuclear Blast and now had label support. They also recorded this album in English to possibly attract a wider fan base. With the bombastic scope of the songwriting and the excellent Peter Tagtgren production, this album broke Dimmu Borgir from the black metal circuit into the metal mainstream. To this day, this is still one of the most discussed albums in extreme metal.

It is not hard to see why this album is a masterpiece. The razor sharp precision of Tjodalv on the drums ensures monumental blast beats. He can do the standard black metal drumming but he lacks a certain element of flair. The band made a big improvement with the addition of Nicholas Barker in replacing Tjodalv. Stian Aarstad had plenty of work on this album since this was pre-symphony Dimmu Borgir. His keyboards are truly haunting and mesmerizing. They are clearly the most memorable part of the record. To this day that is the characteristic of this music that I hold most dear. Listen to “In Death’s Embrace.” The keyboard line just shines over everything else in that song. The color and richness of the piano is simply amazing. It’s interesting how this song could become a Nightwish song with the simple addition of Tarja Turunen on vocals. The tubular bell effect on the keys is a wonderful sound I wish more bands would incorporate. The organ style verse of “Entrance” played in bells is another one of the more memorable points of this album. This sound is exploited to perfection and conjures a grim but poignant soundscape. His solo is immaculate as well.

For the more traditional black metal fans, there is something too. Several of the tracks are some of the most brutal style black metal you will ever hear recorded to date. Not forgetting their roots in being true, they pulverize with several crushers from hell like “Relinquishment of Spirit and Mind,” “Tormentor of Christian Souls,” and “Master of Disharmony.” These songs are beyond a doubt some of the most brutal music ever made. Shagrath’s vocals are markedly better on this album than they have been on subsequent ones. He sounds less gravely and scratchy here and just more evil. There is more depth to his growls and shrieks on these songs and it certainly provides more unity and a semblance of harmony linking the music together. Maybe he should pick up a guitar again to help along his delivery once more.

With artistic pieces like “A Succubus in Rapture,” it’s not hard to see why Dimmu Borgir has attracted the attention of the metal scene. It’s an irresistible combination of neo-classical and dark metal befitting the sound of evil. This slower and plodding song showcases a different side of the band that had been dormant for the rest of the album. The soloing, which is not as prominent for most of the album is a welcome change and thoroughly appreciated. Metal fans are encouraged to procure this album as soon as possible if you don’t own it. It is a standard setting album and one that will be respected for many, many more years.

Killing Songs :
In Death’s Embrace, Entrance, Mourning Place, A Succubus in Rapture
Jay quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Dimmu Borgir that we have reviewed:
Dimmu Borgir - Eonian reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Dimmu Borgir - Spiritual Black Dimensions reviewed by Tyler and quoted 88 / 100
Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra reviewed by Tyler and quoted 87 / 100
Dimmu Borgir - Gateways (Single) reviewed by Tyler and quoted no quote
Dimmu Borgir - The Invaluable Darkness DVD reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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