Pushing on eight years since the release of new material for most bands is career suicide in the modern age.
Luckily for Dimmu Borgir, they are well rooted into the metal conscious enough that even after such a long wait with nothing more than a live album to tide fans over, there is still high interest in this newest release.
Being known for the theatrical symphonic end of the black metal spectrum, Eonian begins like the opening of a theater show, attention-grabbingthroughout the aptly titled ‘The Unveiling’ with some crackling drum loops ahead of a great riff and choir building the intensity into a solid introduction to the album. ‘Interdimensional Summit’ continues the bombastic approach, but with an extra layer of full blown choir, although here the choir takes the lead in places, adding to the feeling of pomposity.
And that may be the best way to describe this album. Between Shagrath’s vocal rasp/bark, the over blown choirs peppered throughout and the usual heavy use of symphony that the band are so well known for, at times it feels like it is missing something, but what that something is hard to pin down. Perhaps it’s the sense of danger that usually goes with black metal. Even a band with as many moving musical parts as this one feels flat and lacking. ‘Council Of Wolves and Snakes’ is possibly the best example of this as it meanders along, waiting for the final minute before really winding up.
Without trying to take away from what is essentially a good album, tracks like ‘Ætheric’ opens with a traditional black riff before becoming black n’roll with added strings and ‘The Empyrean Phoenix’ is the most straightforward you are going to get a band of this ilk, whilst ‘Lightbringer’ may be as close as the band has been to their symphonic roots, perhaps showing the fans that they can still do it if they wish. The strange keyboards at the forefront of the mix in ‘Archaic Correspondence’ add a little something different from the symphony.
But alas, even after several listens the album is still missing something, something lost in all of the fantastical bombast that makes up this album. By no means a bad album, any fan would be happy to have Eonian and be satisfied with its outcome after the extended wait. I just wish I could figure out what it is missing.
- The Unveiling
- Interdimensional Summit
- Council Of Wolves And Snakes
- The Empyrean Phoenix
- I Am Sovereign
- Archaic Correspondence
- Alpha Aeon Omega
- Rite Of Passage