November 21st, 2010
Dimmu Borgir is The Chosen Legacy of Vancouver
Review/Photos By: Char Tupper
The madness, that is Dimmu Borgir has arrived to Vancouver, joining forces with fellow brothers of Norway, Enslaved as co-headliners. This show is one of the cities most talked about metal tours of 2010. Two almighty Norwegian forces, combined and ready to conquer North America together. These metal titans have also joined forces with Blood Red Throne, and Dawn of Ashes. Strangely enough, no local bands were added to this particular tour, but, gave everyone more time to play, which is what everyone wants, to see their favourite bands play for over 20minutes each. It is time for us all to find “The Beacon”, that is some of Norway’s finest metal acts to date.
The first performance was American melodic black metal band, Dawn of Ashes. Forming in 2001, originally as an industrial/EBM band, later on stating in September of 2008, that they were now transferring over to the metal scene, and specifically the melodic death/black metal material. Recently releasing their third full length album in September, the band is currently touring in support of their album, and they definitely pack a punch musically and visually. Dawn of Ashes walks on stage with blood covered gear, and what appears to look as fake skin on their jackets of the latex sort. Also wearing masks and Kristoff(vocals) walks out and yells “Welcome Vancouver” and instantly, the death metal sound prevails. They have a unique stage presence along with interesting musical arrangements and vocals that set Dawn of Ashes, a part from the rest of the touring bill. They definitely sparked interest, and kept me sticking around for what other bands were to come.
Blood Red Throne was next to hit the stage. Also from Norway, however, standing apart from the other Norwegians in the sense of musical genre. We all know Norway is infamous for its black metal, but have you ever considered…Death Metal? Well, Blood Red Throne stepped up to the plate and created Blood Red Throne in 1998 and vocalize about murder, death, and branching out to be a Norwegian Death Metal band. They have 5 full length albums, all very popular with success and definitely sparking similarites to that of Cannibal Corpse. However, saying that, this band’s stage charisma is much more than Cannibal Corpse(dare I say?). Vocalist, Vald walks onstage in a blood-soaked wife beater, and spiked gauntlets and boots, holding his beer high and welcoming the crowd. This band has high amounts of stage energy and has a sound like no other this tour. Blood Red Throne are the “Souls of Damnation”, and shall always be.
Almighty Enslaved from Norway was next. They walk on stage and instantly the crowd begins to push and shove towards the gate barrier. Fans against the barrier getting crushed beyond belief, and with this being Enslaved’s first time to Vancouver, the response of the crowd was beyond phenomenal, especially considering the genre of Enslaved, and it feels good to see, the Norwegian metal, is coming to Canada, and the reaction is nothing but positive. Let me tell you a little about these men of the fjords. They formed in 1991, with the name originating from Immortal’s track, “Enslaved in Rot”. Both Ivar Bjornson and Grutle Kjellson when they formed the band were 13 and 17 years old. With the release of “Axioma Ethica Odini”, being their 11th full length studio album, Enslaved has made their return to North America, and this time, making their first stop to Vancouver. Enslaved’s performance was beyond amazing. The chemistry with the band clearly shows how close they are to one another, but yet they have fun on stage and truly have the spark of passion in their hearts. Grutle and Herbrand’s voices fit together like two puzzle pieces. The music arrangements are all so well composed and now what I wish for next, is a headlining Enslaved tour, so myself and others, can enjoy more of these men from “Below the Lights”.
The righteous ones, Dimmu Borgir were about to make their entrance, opening with intro track, “Xibir”, from their newest album, Abrahadabra. This band is all about stage presence. If you have never seen Dimmu Borgir, make an effort to see them. This band, is one of the legends of symphonic black metal. The crowd went wild when the lights dimmed down low, Daray(drums) walks on stage, horns high, and the crowd goes wild. Suddenly, opening riff to “Spellbound” begins, Galder and Silenoz walk on stage, strumming guitars. Shagrath, last to enter, holding his arms high, yelling to the crowd and welcoming us all. For those who are not aware, the band has recently gone through drastic line up changes with the absence of previous bassist and keyboardist. That being said, I have seen Dimmu Borgir since 2004, and in my personal opinion, I have never seen such an amazing performance out of these guys. Their absence is barely noticeable, better even. With them leaving the band, Dimmu Borgir has changed for the better and they truly seem happier on stage, and much more energetic. Abrahadabra is the 9th studio album from Dimmu Borgir. Their name stems from the Northern Icelandic location, where legends say it is the gateway to hell. These men have definitely formed the “Gateways” to hell with their music, and I can honestly say, I cannot compare or express how this band performs. It is simply breath taking, and closing the show with their classic, “Mourning Palace”, just sent the crowd wild with joy. This concert all together, was one of the best metal concert experiences I have had this year, and it left me feeling a little…”Spellbound, by the devil