Dimmu Borgir

An evening with Dimmu Borgir, and what an evening it was!

The Norwegian symphonic black metal band, graced England for their nationwide tour, which is a rare occasion indeed for this band. The tour marked a rare opportunity to hear their album in its entirety, live 14 years after the release and it was one that neither I, or the rest of the fans tightly packed into the Academy 2 (Birmingham) wanted to miss. Nosiree!

Dimmu Borgir

What made it oh so more special was the choice in outfits for the band; classic Dimmu from the Enthrone Darkness Triumphant album. The lighting had a simple styling of harsh reds and greens – (a colour blind nightmare). Contrasting to the second half of the show, Dimmu sported their new attire from the Abrahadabra album promos accompanied by a more sophisticated lighting.

Dimmu Borgir

While looking forward to this gig for a long time and never previously seeing Dimmu in the past, the night was set out to be a stormer. We were fortunate enough to have the pleasure of interviewing Galder (guitarist) on the salubrious surround of their tour bus. OK, it smelt of curry and B.O. but we were both able to see/smell past that.

After chatting to Galder for a while my night was getting better, now it was time for the show, what could top meeting the guys, well I was about to find out.

Dimmu Borgir

After at least a 45 minute wait which felt like a life time, no fault of the band, more of my anticipation for the gig, Dimmu came on after their musical intro to a sea of cheers and shouting, bursting into ‘Mourning Palace’ which is a personal favourite. Splendid!

It quickly became apparent and remained so throughout the entire set, that acoustics in the small room were dumbing down the sounds of the keys somewhat and any fan of the band will tell you that this is an important their songs.

Dimmu Borgir

A mass of people (myself included) sang along at the top of our lungs with the splendid ‘Shagrath’ and this proved to be another highlight with one and all showing a level of love for the band and a demonstration of how many people really listen to their older works as well as the newer ones.

Next up ‘Spellbound’, which luckily is another favourite of mine, and another great sing-along soon. Predictably the crowd went berserk and loved every minute of it. Next, ‘In Death’s Embrace’ this was the final of their initial line up for the photographers and Shagrath spoke to the crowd. One thing that was kind of a miss that I started to notice early on what the very “scripted” wording by Shagrath, being a big fan of the band I’ve seen a lot of their shows online from their entire career and what was being said in-between the songs was exactly the same as previous shows, even from shows 14 years ago, maybe this was the idea, but it seemed a little trite.

Dimmu Borgir

The first set went through quite quickly, maybe seeming longer in segments of their less popular songs from the Enthrone album, you could tell this by the lack of crowd enjoyment and even the crowd joining in with the songs. The look of the guys was very interesting, Galder is always interesting to watch, and Silenoz plays with this crazy look in his eyes. Shagrath gave off this persona of not being very interested with the whole affair, despite this though, they gave an amazing performance, sounding exactly like the original recordings, especially Shagrath.

To finish off the first set is a re-play of a re-recorded song from their first album, played on their third album, played 14 years later… again… if that makes sense. I was a bit weary about the choice to do any songs previous to Enthrone because of two reasons, the quality of the original recordings and the not so good acoustics produced at the gig. My suspicions were… almost correct, it wasn’t the best song to finish on, all be it an amazing song in the recordings. All in all a great first set and loved the classic feel to the entire performance.

Dimmu Borgir

After a 15 minute break (along with a hoody and drink purchase) the second set began with a drum solo from Daray, which was impressive to say the least. I wasn’t overly impressed by his drumming on the Abrahadabra album, being spoilt by the recordings of Hellhammer on previous releases, but his speed and endurance was clearly being shown. Hats off to the entire band for the endurance it must take to play the two sets back to back, especially Daray, having to go through a lot of fast paced songs. Much respect!

Dimmu Borgir

After the drum solo came back the band to finish off the show in style with their new gear on and jumping into ‘Vredesbyrd’ and ‘Kings of the Carnival Creation’ which is where I noticed the scripting of Shagrath coupled with his lack of interest in speaking to the crowd. Was he bored? I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only fan struggling to hear what he was saying in between songs. Next came three tracks from the new album, which were played well, especially ‘Dimmu Borgir’ which shared the bands name (what a coincidence). This marked the highlight of the show for me.

Dimmu Borgir

To finish the show was Serpentine Offering and Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, which ended the night perfectly.

Despite the very minor flaws of the small room and Shagrath’s chatting, it was an amazing gig and well worth the two plus hours in the sweaty smelly crowd of fellow Dimmu Fans.

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir Gig Review by Jim Heru
Dimmu Borgir Gig Photos by Birdie Brown

One Response to “Dimmu Borgir @ O2 Academy 2, Birmingham, UK – 26 November 2011”

  1. Wayne Says:

    Great work guys!! :o)

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