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Abrahadabra

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Dimmu Borgir 10/12/2010

Review

At one point, Dimmu Borgir were a black metal band. Somewhere around the time of 2001's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, though, they became something entirely different, a kind of monument to pomp and grandeur for its own sake. Peaking on 2003's Death Cult Armageddon and sagging somewhat on the overwrought/underwritten 2007 concept album In Sorte Diaboli, they've managed to combine black metal with John Williams-style symphonic stomping. This album, while not quite the equal of Death Cult Armageddon, does represent a fairly strong comeback. Without changing their style, it's more melodic and even catchier than they're known for being, and the exchanges between lead vocalist Shagrath (who sounds like a cross between Laibach's Milan Fras and Popeye the Sailor) and the trills of the orchestra (real, not synth-based), not to mention the frequent interjections by female voices, make the whole thing almost operatic. Indeed, Abrahadabra is many things, but it is definitely not a rock album. It takes the pomposity of prog to new extremes, throws classical filigree around like comedian Rip Taylor hurling confetti, and generally adopts a more-is-more attitude toward every element from riff writing to arrangements. It opens with an instrumental fanfare, and there's a guest vocal spot on "Ritualist" (by bassist Snowy Shaw of Therion) that sounds like Peter Hammill from Van der Graaf Generator. It might be goofy as hell, but it's also a lot of fun. ~ Phil Freeman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Xibir [Instrumental] Dimmu Borgir 2:50
  3. 2 Born Treacherous Dimmu Borgir 5:2
  4. 3 Gateways Dimmu Borgir 5:10
  5. 4 Chess with the Abyss Dimmu Borgir 4:7
  6. 5 Dimmu Borgir Dimmu Borgir 5:34
  7. 6 Ritualist Dimmu Borgir 5:12
  8. 7 The Demiurge Molecule Dimmu Borgir 5:29
  9. 8 A Jewel Traced Through Coal Dimmu Borgir 5:16
  10. 9 Renewal Dimmu Borgir 4:10
  11. 10 Endings and Continuations Dimmu Borgir 5:55
  12. 11 Dimmu Borgir [Orchestral Version] Dimmu Borgir 5:38
  13. 12 Gateways [Enhanced Video] Dimmu Borgir null:null

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