Dimmu Borgir – Eonian Album Review

Dimmu Borgir - Eonian
Dimmu Borgir Photo by Per Heimly

Dimmu Borgir - EonianDimmu Borgir
LabelNuclear Blast Records
GenreBlack Metal
Release DateMay 4, 2018

Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir hasn’t had a proper new release since Abrahadabra in 2010. Their last release, the live album Forces of The Northern Night in 2017 quenched the thirst for a few who wanted get their hands on something, anything from them. But to be honest, it left a bit to be desired for fans who’ve been waiting to get their hands on new material from them. Well, it’s finally happening as Dimmu Borgir are set to release a brand new album Eonian this Friday, May 4th and metal fans are going to either love it or hate it.

I’ve seen a lot of scathing reviews from many of the elitist “metal reviewers” out there who have been saying Eonian is the worst thing they’ve heard from Dimmu Borgir to date. All I can say to them is calm down, open your ears and truly hear this album! This intense hatred is wasted on Eonian when it could be directed at many other releases coming out that are truly terrible. Readers, you want to listen and judge for yourselves, don’t let a few folks dissuade you from this album. It’s time to join in with Dimmu Borgir‘s journey and embrace the change in their new music on this album. Take a good, hard listen to what the guys have done this time around and I know you will see what they’ve done and find appreciation for it. They’ve taken the time to write something they love and wanted to express through their music and I for one am jumping on board with them and taking this ride! I believe this is one of the most genuine albums they’ve ever written.

After playing Eonian front to back at least 50 times now, I have to say I think this is one of the best albums they’ve done yet. Yes, I said one of the BEST albums they’ve done and I do not care if you disagree with me on that. I think the guys really put something special together that captures the collective writing abilities they have between them as well as their technical expertise on how to put it all together and record something completely amazing.  It’s big, intense, eerie, dark and quite over the top. Each song has its own particular feel to it, with no two songs being the same.  There’s a little familiarity with this eerie feel throughout the album and in a few of the songs on a few riffs and chords you will hear, but that’s about it. Let’s get the break down on Eonian.

The album kicks off with this industrial metal sound with “The Unveiling” , almost as if they are in some sort of old steel factory almost steampunk like, then it leads into a chanting choir type of vocals before the tempo speeds up and the track opens up with dark almost growling vocals. There’s a lot of push and pull throughout this song for tempo, music and vocals which warms the listener up to a more ethereal black metal listening experience. My favorite track off Eonian I found the first time I listed to the album.  Easily it is “Ætheric”! It’s got these crazy guitar riffs that just made my brain go nuts along with the intense drumming that combined together beat the hell out of this song in a great way. Add in Shagrath‘s evil vocal style mixed with some creepy bridges that lead into this larger than life choir sound and wow! This track completely hooked me for the entire album. Yes, I’d already sunk my teeth into the first two single releases Dimmu Borgir dropped on the world, “Interdimensional Summit” and “Council Of Wolves And Snakes”, both great songs as well with very different musical arrangements.

A lot of listeners were taken off guard with the release of “Interdimensional Summit”. Some claimed Dimmu Borgir were sellouts for the lighter symphonic sound in the first new song release in 7 years! Me, I didn’t feel the same way. I listened to this track tirelessly while wondering what else they were going to unleash on all of us when the new album drops. The next song they dropped on the world, “Council Of Wolves And Snakes”, another track that left a number of fans wondering just what the band has done to the music and what direction they are going in. Again, I enjoyed the second track and the tribal chanting elements they added to the vocals on this track is great! I found this track creepy and dark with that perfect push/pull in the tempos and packed full of glorious musical elements that have stretched the musical boundaries than we are typically used to getting from Dimmu Borgir.

“The Empyrean Phoenix” has this underlying, almost trance like feel in the music but is layered with intense vocals that has this large crescendo of chanting choir vocals all while being intertwined with symphonic elements and classic triggered drumming tempos. It’s the perfect lead into “Lightbringer” that has heavy guitar riffs with more rhythmic drumming that pushes and pulls between rhythmic and triggered tempos, but is dark and delightful as the heavy vocals grab the listener then pull back for a symphonic choir feel.  Listeners only think they know what to expect, but just as they feel certain, Dimmu Borgir changes that reality into something completely unexpected. The same holds true with “I Am Sovereign” and “Archaic Correspondence”, both great tracks, but you can’t begin to guess what each track holds, they do a great job keeping the listener intrigued, wondering and listening to each note.

As Dimmu Borgir begin to wrap Eonian up, “Alpha Aeon Omega” will once again have the listener thrown into a tantric experience as they start to absorb the music unfolding in front of them. There are so many different elements that lead to a final loud symphonic collision as the song fades away, then the immediate opening of “Rite Of Passage”, that has the sound of trickling water that blends in with the slowly rising volume of guitars. This last track is instrumental and big. Without any words this feels like an epic saga being expressed only through the emotional pull in their music and I think anyone listening will identify with what I am saying about the feel through their sound. I think it was a great way to end the album.

Now that I’ve heard the entire album, I can see exactly what Dimmu Borgir has done with Eonian and it works in such a way that I don’t know that I will ever listen to their past albums the same way again. This album is big, dark and will bind itself to any listener who goes into it with an open mind and really willing to listen to the entire progression from beginning to end. Buy this one, I think you will enjoy it.  Now all I can hope for is that we will get a real world tour out of Dimmu Borgir that includes a full North American tour. The few festival dates they have coming in the USA over summer, are nowhere near enough! 

Dimmu Borgir – Eonian Tracklisting:
01. The Unveiling
02. Interdimensional Summit
03. Ætheric
04. Council Of Wolves And Snakes
05. The Empyrean Phoenix
06. Lightbringer
07. I Am Sovereign
08. Archaic Correspondence
09. Alpha Aeon Omega
10. Rite Of Passage

Dimmu Borgir are:
Shagrath – vocals
Silenoz – guitars
Galder – guitars

Current live line-up:
Daray – drums
Gerlioz (Brat) – keys

Dimmu Borgir - Eonian

Follow Dimmu Borgir Online: https://www.dimmu-borgir.com

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About Diane Webb 603 Articles
I am rock music fanatic, writer, photographer & traveler with severe wanderlust. Music, travel and enjoying life is key! Follow me on Instagram: @yesterdazenews and on Facebook: @YesterdazeNewsPhotography