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Dimmu Borgir - For All Tid
Review: Melodramatic and overstyled Dimmu Borgir save their music through its essential rawness and punk heritage under the complexities of aesthetic. When the vocalist sings in a black metal style and does not try vocals he cannot accomplish his power is immense both rhythmically and tonally. Guitars are sawhorse consistency that breaks through simple tone patterns to provide a background ambience of fluid tone corridors for keyboards and vocals to traverse.
Built into this fusion is one of the oldest collaborations in rock music, between folk singsong and rhythmic speed in the style of amplified music from the industrial centers of humanity. The expressive rhythms are the interaction between strumming and the snare/bass heartbeat that blasts along behind the music's tonal avalanche. Vocals stagger the overall speed by holding rhythm or rejecting it, goading the surge or carefully denying it.
The positive side to the heavily emotional and over-expressed style of neo-opera that Dimmu Borgir offer is a compositional variation and thematic tension to each song, but the downside is that some of the judgement used to apply this principle results in staggeringly obvious musical exaggerations that will annoy the contemplative listener. The concept behind its power is the concept of atmosphere, whereby it launches into strobing riffs and alternating drumbeats very slowly while building mood with vocals and guitar melodies.
The result is a varied and increasing intensity, although one that maintains what power it has through absence of tension rather than conventionally articulated musical affinities. The execution of the parts, while strong, has to counterbalance overall compsition. If you can stand random chanted, or (poorly) clean sung vocals, often layered on melodramatic keyboards and swarmy rock-derivate riffing, and don't mind the overuse of sweeping keyboards, this can bring some positive vibe to your consciousness.
But far too often the effect is redundant, which is in the individual instantiations annoying but in the context of the song usually just areas greyed into into devastated, indistinguishable monotony. For this epic style I commend this band as innovators where they could find space, but not groundbreakers who invent territory from the ashes of uncomprehended others.