BACKGROUND GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dimmuborgir (pronounced “DIM-moo bor-GEAR”) is a large area of unusually shaped lava fields that includes various cave and rock formations east of Lake Mỷvatn on Iceland. While the word “dimmu” means “fog/dark,” and “borgir” means “castle/fortress,” and the lava fields were named after the Kirkjan (“The Church”) cave with the high, gothic-styled vaulted ceiling, the area is commonly referred to as “the Gates to Hell.”
Welcome to the not-so-mythical world of Norway’s DIMMU BORGIR - thee most prominent melodic black metal act in the world.
Founded in 1993 by lead singer Shagrath, guitarist Silenoz, and drummer Tjodalv, DIMMU BORGIR made their debut onto the underground metal scene via a limited 7” vinyl EP entitled Inn I Evighetens Morke (“Into The Eternity Of Darkness”) in 1994. Inspired by early incarnations of black metal from the 1980s and inspired by the works of classical composers such as Wagner and Dvorak, the band’s music was resplendent in its raw & melodic vocals, aggressive guitar work, destructive drums, and haunting keyboard melodies. Less than a year later, the band (now a 5-piece) recorded their now-classic full-length debut, For All Tid, to wild acclaim. While DIMMU BORGIR’s reputation gained momentum throughout Scandinavia, the band focused their energies on recording what was to become one of the most essential albums in black metal history, Stormblåst, which – although sung completely in Norwegian - catapulted them out of Europe and into international (albeit still underground) waters. Though displaying a marked escalation in their time signatures, DIMMU BORGIR made significant headway in defining their classically influenced sound that would become an intrinsic blueprint.
Following Stormblåst, DIMMU BORGIR decided to record in English to reach a broader audience, and the result was 1997’s commanding masterpiece, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. Produced by the one-and-only living legend Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) at Abyss Studios (Immortal, Destruction, Children Of Bodom), the album was released by Nuclear Blast and marked the band’s significant international breakthrough with over 150,000 copies sold and chart entries all over the world. Included in this breakthrough year were performances at some of the most esteemed European music festivals such as Germany’s Dynamo and Wacken Open Air.
After their world tour for Enthroned Darkness Triumphant, DIMMU BORGIR recorded the Godless Savage Garden mini-CD to hold fans over as they curiously waited to see what direction the next full-length, Spiritual Black Dimensions, would take. Once again recorded at Abyss Studios with Peter Tägtgren, the album stormed into music stores around the world in 1999 and single-handedly transformed the market for black metal. Those who ever doubted DIMMU BORGIR’s allegiance to extreme music were forced to face reality when the album proved to be their most complex and severe offering.
DIMMU suffered a setback when long-time drummer Tjodalv resigned from the band in the early stages of their 1999 tour. His replacement was none other than former Cradle Of Filth skinsman Nick Barker, whose presence among vocalist Shagrath, guitarists Silenoz & Galder, bassist & clean vocalist I.C.S. Vortex, and keyboard player Mustis complemented the band’s already impressive lineage. The sextet entered Sweden’s Fredman Studio in the fall of 2000 with the equally acclaimed producer Fredrik Nordström (At The Gates, Opeth, In Flames) to record Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, and did not fail to create an uncompromising 11 tracks of audible malevolence and exceptional atmospherics. Released in 2001, Puritanical expanded DIMMU’s audience even more, and 2003’s self-produced Death Cult Armageddon proved to be no different. Debuting on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart and entering at #7 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, Death Cult Armageddon went on to sell over 100,000 records in North America alone. DIMMU BORGIR not only landed a coveted spot on Ozzfest’s Main Stage in 2004, but they were showcased in MTV’s reality series “Battle For Ozzfest,” and the dark orchestrations of their “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse” track was selected for use in the trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s film, Hellboy.
Recruiting the prolific drummer Hellhammer (Mayhem, Arcturus, Winds) for session work in last year’s re-recording of Stormblåst (produced by Peter Tägtgren) and boasting his session work in the recording for their first studio album in four years, 2007’s In Sorte Diaboli is DIMMU BORGIR's first concept album. An epic story set in medieval Europe, In Sorte Diaboli is a treatise on modern day political and social abuses of organized religion. This first-person account of an acolyte is told through his own journal entries, depicting his personal struggle with the teachings of the church. Experiencing a life-altering epiphany, he abandons the church completely, and his spiritual victory is won through his rejection of the concept of god. Produced by Fredrik Nordström and Patrik J. Sten at Sweden’s (in)famous Studio Fredman, the dark grandiosity of “The Serpentine Offering,” the elegant ferocity of “The Sacrilegious Scorn,” the impending doom of “The Fallen Arises,” and the unforgiving death march of “The Ancestral Fever” have all fused together to create what has been praised as “the most complete symphonic black metal record” by Metal Maniacs Magazine.
In Sorte Diaboli welcomes you to the battle that will never end. Antichristus spiritualis.