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DIMMU BORGIR to Release New Album in 2010

By: Navjot Kaur Sobti
DIMMU BORGIR to Release New Album in 2010
Titanic, Elias and the Little Rescue Boat, Dimmu Borgir – all just three snapshots into the work of Norway-born and Berklee College of Music-trained Gaute Storaas. Over 25 years after heading out of the musical oven for extreme metal musicians (and prog junkies alike), Storaas is now in the studio with Dimmu Borgir, his old Norwegian neighbors and devoted fans – who are now slated to release their ninth studio album release on October 12, 2010 (October 11th in Europe, and October 8th in Germany). It doesn’t end there. Adding to the 101 musicians who have entered the circle of misanthropic collaborators on the band’s ninth release is the 38-member Schola Cantorum Choir and the 51-member KORK (a.k.a. the Norwegian Radio Orchestra).

Said Storaas of working with the Norwegian and now globally known postermen for what’s symphonic and epic in popular black metal, “working with Dimmu Borgir is quite different. Their music is epic, thematic, and symphonic already from the creation.” While embracing the minor chords and dissonance of many black metal acts – new and old – “they are clearly having an orchestral approach to composing.” So, how to approach a bunch of perfectionists, with the already carefully concocted formula for their music? Storaas described his “role,” which is to “transcribe their themes…take their ideas, tear them apart and build them back up in ways that are true to the band’s intentions.” And to those who have spun any Dimmu records and heard the orchestral pockets of their songs, coupled with surprising yet strangely fluid operatic vocals, he has recognized that their desire to make peculiar, diverse, and complex songs must remain “both interesting and playable for musicians.” So too has he acknowledged that Dimmu Borgir’s standards exceed those of their most markedly metal classification, as he hopes to ensure that they “meet the quality standards of the orchestral world.”

Just earlier this year, guitarist of Dimmu Borgir, Silenoz, reported to U.K’s Metal Hammer on what was then the geneses of album #9, describing how, if there “words that [came] to mind,” they would go “something like: grand, huge, epic, and primal.” While “epic” and “grand” seem to imply a record nearly too grandiose to make the black metal cut, he added that it will still invoke the band’s traditional, darker moods, retaining its “eerie and haunting feel,” as well as a mood that is both “[atmospheric] and ambient.” Promising a set of songs that is “distinct” from their other work, they’ve promised fans that it’ll “raise a few eyebrows.” And amidst being in the full-writing mode and not totally conscious as to what’s streaming out, onto the page and onto their fretboards, that they “might even have to trim [their] own.”

When questioned, on this eyebrow-shaving and brain-shatteringly epic endeavor, as to why they have taken a solid three years to dish out a new release, Silenoz expressed that “quality is, at the end of the day, in the eye of the beholder, but once we start rushing things…forget about it. We focus 110 percent on one thing at a time. Plus, if we'd release an album every year, where would the expectation be? Where would the excitement be?" In addition to overtly stating the band’s tendency to perfect and joy of suspending their fans in such torturous periods of wait, they promised that despite the recent departure of keyboardist Mustis and bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortez, that the “creative force in the band is highly intact, perhaps even more than ever.”

In regards to Mustis’ departure, it was in his August 30th statement, a short but pithy text message, no less, that his decision was sparked by the “fact that many songs written by [him] had not been registered properly under [his] name in [the band’s] credits.” To call it out clearly, the band’s beloved composer was not getting the credit he rightfully deserved – having been a key “composer” and “creator” for the music on albums like Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and In Sorte Diaboli. With his own failure to “[find] a professional and reasonable solution” to this, as well as any kind of “logical rationale” as to how his name was being left to the dust, he concluded his statement with the words, “no discussions about it, just ‘goodbye.’”

In the wake of the band’s recent line-up changes, alignment with a few epic orchestra groups, and Silenoz’ statements – only time will tell if they’ve got the “insight and catharsis” to keep cranking out the symphonic epicness that catapulted them to the (paradoxical state of) black metal fame they hold today.

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