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Dimmu Borgir - Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia Review

by ProgPrince

If Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia were a burger(a Dummy Burger of some sort), then it would be the rare burger in which the buns actually taste better than the edibles in between. Of course, I'm referring to the quintessential musical bookends of Fear and Wonder and Perfection or Vanity. Dimmu created timelessness with these pieces that the other supporting songs didn't seem to match.

In more recent years, Dimmu Borgir has clearly been a band who's worn their classical influences on its sleeves. On this album and Death Cult Armageddon, the band are practically the John Williams of metal. It's obvious, at least in my viewpoint, that they are capable of painting some of the richest symphonic/orchestral portraits in recent memory, but what they create still carries the aura of unfinished business...of work that could use some extra blending and tweaking. At least on DCA they were aided by a full orchestra in the form of the Prague Philharmonic. PEM has a smaller ensemble and the beloved classical side of their sound stretches somewhat less comfortably and nimbly.

Despite this, however, I'd venture that PEM generally has better songwriting than DCA does. How it measures to Spiritual Black Dimensions and Enthrone Darkness Triumphant I do not know. What I do know is that Death Cult didn't have as many memorable songs as this album does, save for the immortal "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse".

I don't remember Cult being as militant and commanding as this, though the overall sound was undoubtedly more massive. DCA opted for a more streamlined approach and often sacrificed feeling and spontaneity in the process. Tracks such as "Kings of the Carnival Creation" and "Hybrid Stigmata- The Apostasy" showed a band who understood the intrinsic value of contrast. These tracks gracefully sabotaged the listener with sudden classical progressions that inspired lucid, adventurous feelings in people. This is not to say that the band's compositional choices completely sounded at home; rather, there was a 'collage' effect throughout most of the album that sounded a bit random and indecisive but it ultimately was something that could be overlooked in appreciating the beauty of this music.

On one hand, I have the utmost respect for Death Cult Armageddon because it pays better homage to classical, but on the other I can't help but to appreciate Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia more. It's an altogether more convincing offering, and it doesn't try in vain to rechristen early Dimmu days by featuring some songs in Norwegian. It falters at times with tracks such as "Architecture of a Genocidal Nature" and the horribly overgrooved "Puritania", but it's worth your investment.(Now if Nick could just get rid of those triggered drums...).


1. Fear and Wonder
2. Blessings Upon the Throne of Tyranny
3. Kings of the Carnival Creation
4. Hybrid Stigmata- The Apostasy
5. Architecture of a Genocidal Nature
6. Puritania
7. Indoctrination
8. The Maelstrom Mephisto
9. Absolute Sole Right
10. Sympozium
11. Perfection or Vanity

Bonus Tracks(Japanese version)
1. Devil's Path(rerecorded version)
2. Burn in Hell(Twisted Sister cover)

CD Info and Links

Dimmu Borgir - Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia

Label:Nuclear Blast

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