Metal Storm logo
Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra review


774 users:
Band: Dimmu Borgir
Album: Abrahadabra
Release date: September 2010

01. Xibir
02. Born Treacherous
03. Gateways
04. Chess With The Abyss
05. Dimmu Borgir
06. Ritualist
07. The Demiurge Molecule
08. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
09. Renewal
10. Endings And Continuations
11. Gateways [Orchestral version] [Limited Edition/iTunes bonus]
12. The Demiurge Molecule [Orchestral version] [iTunes bonus]
13. Dimmu Borgir [Orchestral version] [bonus]
14. Perfect Strangers [Deep Purple cover] [Hot Topic bonus]
15. D.M.D.R. [GGFH cover] [Hot Topic bonus]
+ Gateways [video] [Digipak/Hot Topic bonus]

Dimmu Borgir sucks. Dimmu Borgir are sellouts. Dimmu Borgir have a stupid image and idiotic videos. Dimmu Borgir kick members out with no explanation. Dimmu Borgir is only about squeezing cash from stupid kids who are naive enough to buy their albums. They suck, they suck, they suck!

If you believe that any of the above statements are true, you may as well stop reading now. This review will not take into consideration anything other than music. In other words, if you expect a biased review aimed against one of the most popular extreme bands, you'll be better off helping your father cut the lawn or doing dishes for your mum, because you won't find what you're looking for here.

I don't know about you, but I got fooled by Shagrath and his cronies. When I listened to “Gateways,” the first single from Abrahadabra, I was appalled. It seemed strange, to say the least. You may easily guess that I wasn't exactly dying to hear Abrahadabra. I expected more songs like “Gateways,” but I didn't get any more. What I got was a solid piece of extreme music with an abundance of good arrangements and embellishments which make for a satisfying listen. Even “Gateways” grew on me, because it indeed is a good song.

From epic and lightning fast “Born Treacherous,” through incredibly catchy “Gateways,” till grandiose “Endings and Continuations,” this time Dimmu Borgir delivers. Their style hasn't changed that much, but their old ideas mixed with a few new things make for a very convincing whole. If you want good old blasting, go for the aforementioned “Born Treacherous” or “Ritualist.” If you are fond of orchestrations and epic scope of songs, listen to “Endings and Continuations” or “Chess With the Abyss.” If you're keen on slower tempos and some decent guitar solos, “Dimmu Borgir” and “Renewal” are for you. Yes, guitar solos, played with talent and knowledge, flawlessly blending into the songs. Variety is the spice of life they say. Variety is what you will find here. An occasional intro, bass interlude, female vocals, they're all cherries on top of this unexpectedly tasty cake.

I've always thought that the marriage of extreme metal with mainstream must end in tears. Thornography or Cold Lake prove me right, but Abrahadabra proves me wrong. While undoubtedly accessible and easy to digest, it simultaneously retains a necessary dose of aggression, speed and heaviness. In their own words:

Be the broken or the breaker
Be the giver or the undertaker
Unlock and open the door
Be the healer or the breaker
The keys are in your hands
Realize you are the source of all created
Of your own master plan

Dimmu Borgir might have gone astray on some of their recent albums, but now I'm sure they found their own master plan. The door is wide open, and the sky is the limit.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Written on 23.09.2010 by Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.

Guest review by
If you like Abrahadabra by Dimmu Borgir you can make two great mistakes like I did. Let me warn you! The first thing is listening to classical music like Mozart or Haydn. It won't take more than a single stroke to realize that all the so-called great orchestrations are simply nothing in comparison to the dead composers. The second big fail is listening to real and raw black metal. To quote the famous snake, if you do something of that, "your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." This album is neither anything of black metal nor of classical compositions.

published 28.01.2011 | Comments (23)

Guest review by
Mustis has departed, and no ICS Vortex clean vocals for the first time since 1999. Can Dimmu Borgir escape from the massive attack of the fans this time?

Traditionally, the album starts with an instrumental piece; however, except for some seconds, it is not appealing at all and far away from masterpieces like "Fear And Wonder", "Perfection Or Vanity" or even "Det Nye Riket".

published 04.06.2020 | Comments (0)

Comments page 5 / 5

Comments: 127   [ 2 ignored ]   Visited by: 1099 users
26.11.2010 - 01:34

The album has its moments, but Dimmu doesn't sound like Dimmu anymore. TOO MUCH orchestra! It's just too over the top. I do like the album, but it's just nowhere near comparable to their previous releases, all the way down the line from For Al Tid up to In Sorte Diaboli. The best track is "Born Treacherous," IMO. "Dimmu Borgir" is also good, and "Endings and Continuations" has been really growing on me.

Still, I'd rather listen to Spiritual Black Dimensions, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant or Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia any day over this one.
09.01.2011 - 09:17
Retired Staff
Written by Guest on 24.09.2010 at 12:19

Dimmu Borgir IS black metal

Nope, Dimmu Borgir is NOT black metal. Even Shagrath knows it.
Go to the 2:13 mark in the first video of this interview, where he'll eventually say "we are not black metal".

That sound you hear is your heart breaking.
Your favorite band sucks.
23.03.2011 - 13:48

So.....nobody can say this is not a good album by DB.I just miss the haunted atmosphere the past albums had.Excellent work but i don't like it that much.i think i will miss mustis too
24.03.2011 - 02:54
Troy Killjoy
Written by gnum on 23.03.2011 at 13:48

So.....nobody can say this is not a good album by DB...
...i don't like it that much...

For someone who doesn't think anyone can say this is a bad album, you should like it a little more than "not liking it that much".
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
28.04.2011 - 21:56
Rating: 5
Cyborg Raptor
I love symphonic and orchestrations mixed with metal. Sooo this album is a masterpiece to me, best Dimmu album imo. I understand people dont like it cuz it doesnt sound as harsh as they used to, but as a symphonic metal fan its a great album and shouldnt be disregarded jus because it isnt what people expected to hear. Great Review!
pewpew.. gotcha
30.07.2012 - 20:38
Valentin B
This imo is a great album, as with most of symphonic metal I don't have the attention span needed to go through a whole album anymore, but the singles I listen to from this album are just mindblowing: Gateways and Dimmu Borgir. The live versions of these two songs with the Oslo orchestra are just fabulous and amazingly epic.

Who gives a shit if it's not black metal anymore? people who dislike Dimmu and Cradle of Filth solely based on that need a reality check. How about people dissing Sabbath and Priest because they don't play blues anymore like when they just started out? what matters is if it sounds good or not.
25.11.2014 - 19:03

I enjoyed the album. I am also an unabashed symphonic metal fan though. Although I have to agree Dimmu's videos are pretty terrible, not unlike most metal bands. As much as I love the genre 99% of them cannot make decent videos.

Hits total: 34294 | This month: 25