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Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
(Nuclear Blast Records)

Being a fan of DIMMU BORGIR since their majestic 1997 release "Enthroned Darkness Triumphant" everything so far has been great. Here are some quick facts about this new slab of black: Nagash on bass is no more, replacement is Vortex of ex-BORKNAGAR, Astennu on guitar is gone, replacement Galder of OLD MANS CHILD takes the stand. Founding drummer Tjodalv left to persue his own thing in SUSPERIA (review on this site under S) and the legendary drummer Nick Barker of ex-CRADLE OF FILTH is behind the kit now. On to the music, this album is generally faster than all their previous efforts, the sound is their best as they used the best studio in Europe, Fredman with Nordstrom handling production. Their last album "Spiritual Black Dimensions" was done in The Abyss with Peter and it came out washy. This is the production the band needed, all instruments are heard so clear and tight, huge bottom end on the guitars, triggers on the drums which Peter never did in the Abyss. The Gothenburg orchestra lends a hand in the opener 'Fear And Wonder' for an eerie feel. Vortex adds some clean vocals to songs which gives it the odd BORKNAGAR feel but is greatly welcomed. Shagrath utilizes many vocals on here such as screech, growl and yells. Mustis lays down some eerie keyboards and piano as always. All in all this is their most varied, well rounded album. The Thrash riffs dominate on here with a deathened edge, think of TESTAMENT gone on crack, SLAYER on heroin, get the point yet?

Dimitri Ganatsios

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