Dimmu Borgir – Eonian

Rating: 1.5/5
Label/Distributor URL: Nuclear Blast
Released: 2018
Buy Album: http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/shop/artikel/gruppen/51000.1.html?article_group_sort_type_handle=rank&custom_keywords=dimmu+borgir+eonian
Band Website: https://www.dimmu-borgir.com/

Band Line-Up

Shagrath: Vocals/Bass/Keyboards/Effects
Silenoz: Rhythm Guitars/Bass/Lyrics
Galder: Lead Guitars/Bass
Daray: Drums

Album Track Listing

1. The Unveiling
2. Interdimensional Summit
3. Aetheric
4. Council of Wolves and Snakes
5. The Empyrean Phoenix
6. Lightbringer
7. I Am Sovereign
8. Archaic Correspondence
9. Alpha Aeon Omega
10. Rite of Passage

 

Video

Review

There are few sadder things in life than watching a once-great band slide into utter mediocrity. It is abundantly clear that the band that gave us “Stormblåst” and “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” no longer exist; replaced instead by the mighty Dimmu conglomerate, a corporate entity whose focus is on things other than music. After two albums of barely adequate meanderings, I was hoping for a rip-roaring return to form. Instead, the band continue to sprint headlong towards financial nirvana but demiurgic oblivion.

The choral and mystical opening of “The Unveiling” offered some hope of inspiration, but it proved a false dawn as the cod-eastern riffing and tired pace showcased a seemingly bored band sleepwalking through another commercial yawnfest. The use of operatic vocals offered absolutely nothing to this ponderous poppycock. “Interdimensional Summit” was more pop posturing, as far removed from Black Metal as The Backstreet Boys. “Aetheric” featured something resembling a blastbeat, but it was only fleeting; the band soon lapsed back into the same formulaic pecuniary pap. The faux-BM intro to “Council of Wolves and Snakes” offers some promise but the song as a whole ends up sounding more like Evanescence.

The sheen on “The Empyrean Phoenix” is almost blinding. Indeed, it is so polished it’s a wonder the band don’t slip and break their necks. “Lightbringer” is a collection of simplistic thrashy riffs and uninteresting structure, and “I Am Sovereign” is more of the same, only with trite Arabian motifs, choir and banal riffs with Shagrath croaking over the top of it. To be fair he sounds the same as he ever did. The band still sound prosaic on the positively soporific “Archaic Correspondence”,  but finally up their game with “Alpha Aeon Omega” which is the best thing on the album by a country mile. At last, the band give us something to headbang to. Savage and epic, this is a display of feral hunger and an example of what I would prefer to hear from Dimmu. Alas, it is nowhere near enough to save this abortion of an album, which closes with a whimper: the instrumental afterthought “Rite of Passage”.

It gives me no pleasure to say this but this is the sound of a toothless old lion coughing and spluttering when he once roared, but still tries to convince the world that he’s threatening. This was such a frustrating experience, which left me craving a bit of sonic violence that the band, it seems, are no longer capable of. This is the tedious tidings of a band who have forgotten who and what they once were. Truly the band’s creative nadir.

Review by

Owen Thompson

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