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This is the second album released by the Norwegian symphonic Black Metal act, Dimmu Borgir, which saw the light of day in 1996. In my opinion it's also one of their absolutely strongest albums ever, and many will agree it's a highlight in their career.
If you liked, 'For All Tid', the debut album from 1994, you should love this since the sound isn't all that different but has sort of progressed. There is more symphonic synth and it's still a bit melancholy at times, but less monotone. The album is a bit more aggressive, both musically and lyrically. This is the last Dimmu Borgir album with Norwegian lyrics, and they express hate towards Christianity in a medieval environment.
This album has everything from aggressive parts with heavily distorted guitars and screeched black metal vocals to atmospheric, sad piano-pieces. And there are plenty of times when these meet each other and are combined. The disc includes one instrumental, "Sorgens Kammer", which is a quite monotonous piano-piece with a melancholy mood.
If you liked For All Tid, you should get this as well! If you're into the current Dimmu Borgir albums, you might be in for a surprise unless you're well into your black metal. I would highly recommend giving this album a chance, though!
Be aware that Dimmu Borgir re-recorded 'Stormblåst' in 2005. The re-recorded version has a modern sound production and more synthesizers. It may appeal more to newer fans of the band. But all old fans I have spoken to, including myself, far prefer the original from 1996. It was a classic, and you shouldn't mess with a classic!
Dimmu Borgir's second album remains their finest achievement, the classic work of melodic black metal that bands like Ancient and Arcturus almost achieved. This album is a definite step forward from its primitive predecessor, now successfully integrating the piano and keyboard work into the dirty black metal riffs and growled vocals without sounding forced or contradictory. This whole experience is heavily atmospheric, but with Stian Aarstad's great keyboard melodies in songs such as 'Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen' and particularly 'Broderskapets Ring,' it never runs the risk of being ambient background music.
Sadly, Aarstad is also the album's weak point thanks to his shameless theft of melodies from other sources, something that he presumably felt comfortable doing back when the band was only known within the black metal community. Once they hit the big time, it came to light that Aarstad had poached the pretty piano instrumental 'Sorgens Kammer' entirely from the soundtrack of the Amiga game 'Agony' without telling the band, while the keyboards of the first track are allegedly similar to a song by prog band Magnum.
Deceptions aside, this is still a masterpiece of melodic black metal, varying in speed and intensity but always coherent. The band re-recorded this in 2005 and released it for some reason, presumably realising how terrible their more recent output has been in comparison.
1. Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen
2. Broderskapets Ring
3. Når Sjelen Hentes Til Helvete
4. Sorgens Kammer
5. Da Den Kristne Satte Livet Til
9. Vinder Fra En Ensom Grav
10. Guds Fortapelse - Åpenbaring Av Dommedag
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen
2 Broderskapets Ring
3 Nar Sjelen Hentes Til Helvete
4 Sorgens Kammer
5 Da Den Kristne Satte Livet Til
9 Vinder Fra En Ensom Grav
10 Guds Fortapelse Apenbaring Av Dommedag