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Dimmu Borgir/Unearth/Kataklysm/DevilDriver



Date: 4/26/07
Venue: Nokia Theater, New York
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
 

Dimmu Borgir setlist:

Intro
Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
Vredesbyrd
Cataclysm Children
Kings of the Carnival Creation
Sorgens Kammer del II
Indoctrination
A Succubus in Rapture
The Serpentine Offering
The Chosen Legacy
The Insight and the Catharsis
Spellbound
Mourning Palace
The Fallen – Outro


Devildriver/Kataklysm/Unearth

As much as one may want to believe that this bill offered four very different metal bands, according to Unearth frontman Trevor Phipps, it was an extreme lineup nothing more and yet here is where the difference came…..Dimmu Borgir. Now as Trevor also did point out regardless of the genre (here you had Death, Black, Metalcore)…it was still all Metal and I can’t agree more.

But segregating the variety of sounds and styles of Heavy Metal into genres is unavoidable because if you don’t how do you differentiate one sound from the other. Obviously there are different sounds and styles and levels of melodic value. Plus some people do prefer a particular sound/style so categories are not a bad thing and I see as being helpful tool or point of reference.

Now I said the difference came in the form of Dimmu Borgir and it is clearly obvious for many reasons but here lets have a look at the rest of the lineup and analyze how I came to this conclusion.

Lets start off with Unearth and their sound which combines elements of thrash and the angst fueled American bread metalcore style created by younger bands from the late 1990’s. Musically what makes them a bit different than Devildriver and Kataklysm are Iron Maiden type dual guitar leads which is where the only melody is heard in the music. A common thread amongst them, Devildriver and Kataklysm is the harsh vocals and that’s what makes it all sound the same. You also have the very fast and furious guitar riffs and drum beats that are the core to all three bands and the majority of their songs.

Devildriver incorporate some hardcore style vocals but don’t use nearly enough to make them all that different from Unearth.

Kataklysm I can see as a bit different, and they are, because their music is faster than both Unearth and Devildriver who are more so thrash bands, and the hyper blast beat assault is much more aggressive. You also have Maurizio Iacono’s guttural death metal vocals which surpass even the harsh quality of Metalcore.

But when it comes down to it….Unearth, Devildriver and Katakylsm were all real heavy and fast with no melodic value to the vocals. So with that in sound the listener had very little to work with distinguishing one from the other and that’s where I say it was not four very different metal bands but one.


Now to Dimmu.

Instantly just by the hearing intro tape even before the curtains opened a mood was set and one could tell Dimmu were the headliners offering something different than the rest of the lineup. As the curtains parted the way each member stood static on the three level riser waiting for their cue to greet their audience with open arms and metal horns raised high (as a couple members did) going into the track “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse” off their last release “Death Cult Armageddon”. Dressed head to toe in full Black Metal regalia Dimmu came well prepared to entertain in theatrical Satanic fashion and I bet those who take their faith way too seriously would not be too happy with what Dimmu represent.

Dimmu Borgir have taken the genre out of the underground and into the mainstream and they did it on their own terms which is to say the least great.

When I spoke with their guitarist Silenoz he mentioned they were playing just a little over an hour and were only getting twelve or thirteen songs into the setlist so even though headliners they are not quite playing to their full potential for this tour.

Still they hit upon all their albums minus the debut. “Sorgens Kammer del II” comes off the recently re recorded classic “Stormblast”, one of my favs off “Death Cult” “Cataclysm Children” made an appearance with its deadly thrash riffing, to classics “Mourning Palace” and “Spellbound” off “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”.

Two new tracks played off “In Sorte Diaboli” were the first single/video “The Serpentine Offering” and “The Chosen Legacy” mixing a little of their older style of writing with something new and both well received. As a live team Dimmu are extremely tight and well choreographed. Also I must make note their sound was so well mixed you could hear everything out of the speakers. Really the sound man is doing a hell of a job balancing out everything. At various times keyboards were louder bringing attention to the needed parts and even drum fills were brought up in the mix. A lot of work is going into this production and it both looks and sounds it. I am looking forward to their return.

Note: I must apologize to my readers for the absence of live pictures. The label had me set up with a photo pass (thanks Loana) yet the venue fucked shit up and unfortunately did not issue me a proper photo pass??? So my thanks go out to the Nokia Theater for being more than helpful accommodating me so I could take photos to post with my review. You’d think a photo pass and the fact I was already backstage interviewing the headliners guitarist would have been enough? I don’t get it either.

 
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