Published May 02, 2018After eight long years, the biggest black metal band on Earth have released new music at last. It's easy to forget how big Dimmu Borgir's impact has been on the metal world; the Norwegians upended black metal's traditional sound with epic production never before heard in the orthodox, lo-fi scene. Simultaneously pulling the genre away from old clichés and making a few of their own, Dimmu Borgir have cemented their reputation as one of the most creative forces in metal.
That's why it's so disappointing to see that Eonian playing off past successes. Not everything is the same, it just isn't different either. Keyboardist Geir Bratland takes more influence from industrial music then Wagner this time around, but most of Eonian sounds thin and processed. Part of what made Dimmu Borgir iconic was the sheer scale of their orchestrations. It's only on "Interdimensional Summit" that the symphonic parts of the album hit with the punch they should.
Frontman Shagrath still has one of the most recognizable voices in metal, but Dimmu Borgir haven't managed to replace the vocals of I.C.S. Vortex, which were the highlight of their best releases. Even so, listen to "The Empyrean Phoenix" and you might feel like it's 2005 again. Almost.
There simply aren't enough standout songs on Eonian to justify the eight-year wait. It might snag new listeners, but old fans will be turned off by what is probably one of the weakest albums in Dimmu Borgir's catalogue. (Nuclear Blast)