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This album, from 1997, was Norwegian symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir's commercial breakthrough, and probably the first truly commerical symphonic black metal album! This was also the first Dimmu Borgir album to be released through Nuclear Blast, a record label that could offer the band real marketing and distribution power. The album entered the German charts at number 75, and it stayed in the charts in Finland for 20 weeks. This is the first fully Dimmu Borgir album where all the lyrics are written in English. In all ways an international commercial breakthrough for the band!
The sound of this album is a micture of influnces. The core of symphonic black metal is there, but is supplemented by elements from thrash, goth and traditional heavy metal. Compared to earlier albums, the slower and more moody and melancholy parts are almost gone, and there is much more emphasis on speed here. Gone are also the spoken male vocals of the past. It's all black metal screeches, apart from some female chants in 'The Night Masquerade', although they are ruined by ugly effects anyway.
On a whole, this is a fast, varied, very melodic symphonic black metal album mixing a variety of influences. Well worth checking out for fans of the genre! Actually, this is a classic of the genre, so if you're really into symphonic black metal, this belongs in your collection! If you like your metal pure and without up-beat melodies and synths, stay away.
The final album of what could be accurately classed as Dimmu Borgir's first era, 'Enthrone Darkness Triumphant' starts to move towards the commercial metal direction of their later works (not least with the introduction of English lyrics), but retains enough of the spellbinding majesty of the previous releases. With clearer production that really brings out the guitars and drums, this is more approachable and also less distinctive than the heavily keyboard-soaked 'Stormblåst,' though Stian Aarstad's keys are still the most impressive element, despite being relegated to a secondary player behind the generic riffs at many points.
Relying more on standard black metal gimmicks such as blast beats, this album has less character than 'Stormblåst,' but it still has its moments. Piano is used to great effect in spicing up the otherwise dull 'In Death's Embrace,' and the penultimate 'A Succubus in Rapture' is a fine example of symphonic black metal done properly, but the rest of the album fails to live up to this, occasionally approaching perilously close to Cradle of Filth's take on the genre.
1. Mourning Palace
2. Spellbound (By the Devil)
3. In Death's Embrace
4. Relinquishment of Spirit and Flesh
5. The Night Masquerade
6. Tormentor of Christian Souls
8. Master of Disharmony
9. Prudence's Fall
10. A Succubus in Rapture
11. Raabjørn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Mourning Palace
2 Spellbound (by The Devil)
3 In Death's Embrace
4 Relinquishment Of Spirit And Flesh
5 Night Masquerade
6 Tormentor Of Christian Souls
8 Master Of Disharmony
9 Prudence's Fall
10 Succubus In Rapture