DIMMU BORGIR - Dark Spiritual Presentation

August 27, 2018, 4 months ago

By Mark Gromen

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Accent on dark, as the Norwegians have apparently lifted a page from Polish band Batushka (one of numerous black metal entities to arise, in Dimmu's hiatus), all about visual representation, a ritual if you will, to the degree that one keeps it virtually unseen, apart from highlighted Shagrath. Keys, drums and bass on individual risers, at the back, allow the singer and two guitars: Silenoz & Galder room to play, up front. Truth be told, only Shaggy takes advantage, moving about the stage and an electric fan billowing his hair, while he handles the studded mic stand. All are in heavy leather costumes, their heads/faces beneath a hood to start and at prescribed times, the cowls come off, then go back on. Afterwards, Silenoz informed me the outfits weigh between seven or eight kilos (double that for poundage), even without the sleeves! Add perspiration, things get heavy, and we're not just talking about music.

The songs are essentially is regressive order, beginning with the pair that opens the new Eonian disc. Two from In Sorte Diaboli, another deuce from Abrahadabra, a tandem off Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropa, back to Eonian for two more and end with big numbers, "Progenies Of the Great Apocalypse" and "Mourning Palace". Believe this is the first Dimmu show I've witnessed where "Spellbound (By The Devil)" was not part of the running order. Silenoz is initially surprised by my observation and unable to finger the last time it was omitted. He claims this is simply a festival set (timed out at about 70 minutes) and said piece could be added, on a minute's notice. Given they had to pay a small fortune for US Visas, the band plan a more extensive (albeit still not a full scale attack) return, late spring 2019.
 
Odd assortment of t-shirts on display at the Playstation Theater, just off Times Square. In addition to repping the requisite Dissection and Bathory, also saw Marilyn Manson, Avenged Sevenfold, Evergrey and Andrew W K, meaning that this was an event, the chance to see Dimmu Borgir, regardless of "metallic" taste. Seems there were only two lighting choices onstage (Magnus), a piercing blue and, or course, red, augmented by a constant, thick layer of fog. Frantic crowd surfing action chased the photogs from the pit after just two songs. By "The Seprentine Offering", the hoods were down, revealing themselves to the crowd, much like the bomb worshiping telepaths in Beneath The Planet Of The Apes film. Prior to the band's signature tune (lit in red), Shagrath spoke to the crowd, mentioning the new album, which also commemorates 25th anniversary of the band. Staccato, electronically modulated vocals to begin Newbie "Council Of Wolves And Snakes", as red lights sweep the already crimson tinted stage. Hoods up for "Archaic Correspondence", which ends with Shagrath backlit in white. Huge response for the telltale opening notes of the aforementioned "Progenies", beams of white sweep the eerie blue stage, as Galder and Silenoz come together.
 
Can't wait for next spring. Bring 'em on!     

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