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Dimmu Borgir
Abrahadabra

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2010
Genre: Symphonic Black
Reviewer: Veritas

  • Underwhelming and uninspiring



  • "Abrahadabra" marks Dimmu Borgir's first release since their widely publicized split with bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex and keyboardist Mustis. Although they still mostly sound like the Dimmu of old (or at least of their last few albums), the absence of these two band members resonates fairly heavily. Abrahadabra's keyboard parts were presumably written by band members other than Mustis, and the grand, sweeping, orchestral parts that often stood at the forefront of Dimmu songs are not nearly as prevalent. Keyboards still play a vital role, but they function more as accents instead of really leading songs (although there are some exceptions, as with "Born Treacherous," one of the album's few standout tracks).

    Snowy Shaw appears on several songs performing clean vocals (he also played bass on the album), and while he manages to sound amazing with Therion, his full-time band, his performance here does not measure up to what Vortex was able to do for Dimmu Borgir. Shaw's style of singing is more operatic, and does not fit nearly as well as Vortex's voice did. The song "Ritualist" is a perfect example of Shaw's awkward position within Dimmu's music.

    Lead vocalist Shagrath definitely varies his delivery style even more than usual, alternating between his "black metal voice," which has weakened considerably over the years (or perhaps has become more refined?), electronically modified vocals, and an almost spoken whispering. The latter definitely leaves the listener craving more power and more energy; if the desired effect is for a spooky or mystical feel, it is not working.

    This album is, unfortunately, underwhelming and uninspiring. "Born Treacherous," "Gateways," and "Renewal" are all solid songs, but others seem more concerned with getting from point A to point B using tired-sounding riffs rather than actually doing anything for the listener. Die hard Dimmu fans should (and probably already have) pick this record up, but those looking to listen to this band for the first time would be better off starting somewhere else in the band's discography.



    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: DIMMU BORGIR
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    AbrahadabraDimmu Borgir
    2010
    Ravana12/10/2010
    Death Cult ArmageddonDimmu Borgir
    2004
    Ken Pierce7/23/2004
    Death Cult Armageddon (reissue)Dimmu Borgir
    2004
    Greg Watson9/26/2004
    StormblastDimmu Borgir
    2006
    Anthony Burke5/15/2006


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: DIMMU BORGIR

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: DIMMU BORGIR
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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