DIMMU BORGIR – Oslo – Spektrum
Some would say that 90 minutes, where three tracks are orchestral, excluding the intro and outro, are too short. And this means that 12 tracks are metal symphonies. Well, personally I’d like a couple of songs from the older school, without the symphony, perhaps as bonus tracks or in the middle of the show.
Aside from this, and that the guitar sound was too low every now and then, this was surely a night to remember. When the choir sang with full force, or the orchestra played on ten, those goosebumps were jumping from person to person inside Oslo Spektrum in the capital of Norway. Being a metalfan for soon to be 30 years, having been to a number of gigs that probably exceeds the amount of words in this article, and with my heart in the underground, I also have a lot of room for big soundtracks, dramatic music and melodic extreme metal. With Dimmu Borgir, KORK + Schola Cantorum Choir, this room was satisfied. There were fans from all over the world and despite the rather short playing time, I’m dead sure those fans were as pleased as I was.
Photo by Finn Håkon Rødland
As said, the guitars were a bit too low in the beginning and also towards the end. However, this didn’t affect the musical impact at all because everything that happened on stage was overwhelming in every other aspect. The choir on the right side (seen from the audience’s point of view), orchestra on the left and the band in the middle of everything. That Silenoz et al. disappeared when the orchestra and choir did their versions of amongst others "Dimmu Borgir" and "Eradication Instincts Defined" was fine, since the musicians from Kringkastingsorkesteret (Norwegian for "Norwegian Radio Orchestra") and Schola Cantorum Choir got their deserved moments to shine. And boy, were they good… Again, those goosebumps… If Dimmu Borgir had done the metal version of "Eradication…" I would be even more satisfied, since it’s my favourite Dimmu Borgir track ever. But a setlist that concentrated on the symphonic tracks can’t go wrong, of course. I’ve heard people claiming that the sound was too low, but it had to be a bit lower than usual to make everything work together on an audible level. When the concert will be shown on NRK (Norwegian main TV-channel) the 25th of June, the sound will be 5.1 Surround and the picture will be HD. So, no worries about the quality, for those of you who weren’t there and for those of us where were there.
Setlist, yes. I guess the surprise would’ve been if they played the whole new album. Well, they didn’t, luckily, since it made room for brilliant songs such as "Vredesbyrd", "The Serpentine Offering" and "Kings Of The Carnival Creation". Closing up the show with "Mourning Palace" in a 2011 symphonic version couldn’t go wrong, now could it… The obvious "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse" was there, and together with immense tracks such as "Born Treacherous", "Gateways" (with the amazing guest vocals by Agnete Kjølsrud) and "A Jewel Tracked Through Coal", Dimmu Borgir’s symphonic metal swept through the ca. 8.000 inside the venue.
Photo by Finn Håkon Rødland
Silenoz, Shagrath and Galder didn’t do everything on stage themselves, aside from the mentioned orchestra and choir. Cyrus from Susperia has played with Dimmu Borgir for a while now, and does a great job with the depth in the band’s music. Daray drums away, on par with Dimmu’s best thus far, Nick Barker. Geir Bratland (Apoptygma Berzerk) did the keyboards in a majestic way. And of course, in the case of Dimmu Borgir, there’s not an option for second best, so no worries on the quality side of this gig.
The visuals were all fine. There were banners going up and down. The band changed costumes every now and then. Not on par with Madonna though, since the band kept their outfit muscular and left the minimalism to Madonna and her likes. And with a frontman such as Shagrath, Dimmu Borgir can’t fail now, it seems. He communicated with the audience, sang and seemed to have a jolly good time, together with the rest of the wild bunch.
I saw the band in Sentrum Scene in Oslo last November, and it was a really great gig and more to the Dimmu Borgir core. This Spektrum experience was a one off and I’m glad I was there. Where will the band go next?
6.Chess With the Abyss
8.A Jewel Traced Through Coal
9.Eradication Instincts Defined
11.Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
12.The Serpentine Offering
13.Fear and Wonder
15.Kings of the Carnival Creation
17.Perfection or Vanity