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69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2010 release from the Norwegian Metal monsters. On Abrahadabra, they have eschewed the keyboard-heavy sound and topped even themselves by collaborating with over 101 musicians, including Norwegian composer and Berklee College of Music summa cum laude alumnus Gaute Storaas, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK), and the Schola Cantorum Choir. Legendary musicians from King Diamond, Ulver, Vader and more also lent their talents. The result is a massive and altogether unprecedented album that thrusts Dimmu Borgir into the metal elite.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nuclear Blast America
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,431 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By D. Mulcahy on October 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
In general, when you read reviews on amazon you are here to see the opinions of other people who probably like the same kind of stuff that you do. 99% of the people in the world aren't looking up black metal bands. But amongst our crowd, there are those who hold their musical opinions much higher than anyone else s. This album is an example of that. Look for 1 or 2 star reviews and read on to see why they gave it the low rating. "This is garbage, not true black metal" "Sellouts" "Omg they kicked out my favorite member"
This is called "shallow mindedness."

One thing I always wondered about black metal is... how do you sell out? I mean, the double bass is pounding, the vocals are ridiculously over the top, and the guitars get downright gut-wrenching at times. Even the tamest of black metal or symphonic black metal is an acquired taste. Dimmu Borgir would have to try a lot harder than this to "sellout." I mean don't get me wrong, they aren't playing at a constant heavy pace as much as they use to... but comon. Every band changes, and if they didn't what then? Look at slayer... amazing band, always have been. But they never changed their sound much at all, and to be honest, they are just plain boring now and have been for a long time. Dimmu certainly could have made Puritanical 5 times over, they have the talent. But why? If you wanna hear Puritanical, go listen to it like I do when I want to hear it.

The fact of the matter is, this album sounds pretty damn good 90% of the time. There are a few boring parts, there are parts where you wonder what the hell they were thinking, (aka guest vocals in gateways)and there are some truly masterful parts that show you how incredibly talented these guys are... even without the 2 legends they let go of.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By C. D. White on October 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Dimmu Borgir has a polarizing affect on a lot of people. Black Metal purists hate them with a passion for "selling out" and like any band they have die hard fans as well. Personally, I stand in the middle of all of it. I don't hate them (calling a Black Metal band sell outs seems overwrought to me) but I also like a bunch of Black Metal bands more than them (Emperor/Ihsahn, Enslaved, Immortal, Satyricon to name a few). There has been a lot of hype and controversy around this album - on one hand some people are mad at the fact that ICS Vortex and Mustis were fired and how Mustis was fired (via text message) and on the other hand the band has been hyping this album as ground breaking with the addition of fuller orchestras, choirs and female vocals. After listening to the album it seems to me that all that hype is just that - hype.

I am neither blown away nor disappointed by this album because to my ears as a casual fan of the band their sound hasn't changed incredibily. There are differences sure but not so much that it changes or improves their sound drastically. Dimmu Borgir is a symphonic Black Metal band they don't expand on that on Abrahadabra or stray from it. Just maybe refine it more. This album sounds similar to Cradle Of Filth's Damnation and a Day. An album I have an equal amount of passion for. Which is to say it's alright. After listening to this album 3 times no tracks really stand out nor are there any moments that made me sit up and take notice. But it was enjoyable to listen to all the same.

So if you are a fan of Dimmu Borgir you'll probably like this album. And if you are listening objectively you won't notice the absence of Vortex or Mustis that much.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By P. Binh on October 15, 2010
Format: Audio CD
With the departure of two band members, many fans of Dimmu Borgir, including myself, were anxious to hear how the drastic lineup change would impact their sound. Rest assured, the music is a heavy, dark, melodic, and engaging as ever. The lineup change seems to have had no discernible impact, with the exception of ICS Vortex's/Simen's vocals.

The first noticeable feature of this album is the prominence of the orchestra, a welcome change of pace after the back-to-basics keyboard-light approach of their previous release, In Sorte Diaboli. There is even an orchestral version of the lead track, "Gateways," which itself is a pretty good representation of the music and style of this release. The orchestral intro and outro tracks are incredibly well done, but then again, we're talking about Dimmu Borgir -- they seem to be incapable of doing anything less.

Another thing worth noting is that there is a fair amount of experimentation here -- not too little, and not too much. This album is somewhat akin to Death Cult Armageddon, but the orchestral elements play a much greater role, they use female guest vocals, there is a different male clean singer, acoustic guitars, monk-style chanting, a didgeridoo (look it up), and well-placed time changes. The innovations are subtle enough that a casual listener might miss them on a first or second listen, but a more discriminating fan would pick them up and appreciate their greatness.

One of the tracks that really threw me off as a listener was "Dimmu Borgir." It stands out because it is upbeat, triumphant, almost joyous(!
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