Norway's Dimmu Borgir is named after a volcano in Iceland, and everything about the symphonic metal band is predictably epic. Hell, the band's name literally translates to "Dark Fortress," and the main trio of (I kid you not) Shagrath, Silenoz and Galder has been going at it for nearly two decades.
But underneath the cartoon veneer is a band with immense talent and an undiscovered sense of humor. "If we get drunk enough, we might even listen to Lady Gaga," said guitarist Silenoz from a recent Canadian stop on Dimmu Borgir's latest jaunt across the globe. "We support all good music, even bands like Aha who are also from Norway."
Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Blood Red Throne, Dawn of Ashes
The band's most recent effort, Abrahadabra, came out in September and is yet another dense and imposing collection of black metal, sung in English that is as beguiling as it is impressive.
"English is the language of metal," Silenoz claims. And although he may well indeed be right, the overall effect of this brand of metal is hard to quantify as anything less than overkill. The technical savvy it takes to produce this particular mess of guitars and violins is truly remarkable, but whether or not it's listenable for any sustained period is up for debate.