Or maybe it does. But hey who am I to decide? In my opinion Dimmu, COF, Satyricon and even the last Immortal album are still every bit Black Metal, but just much better quality. Every one of these bands started out as young kids and they sounded like “true” black metal bands like Mayhem or Darkthrone. The difference is that these guys got better at their instruments and wanted the music to be more accessible.
I really like this album. The production is crystal clear. The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra was a brilliant touch. It makes the music stand out, sound majestic even. Nicholas Barker is a top notch metal drummer and sounded great here. Vortex’ bass compliments the music nicely and his clean vocals are great, albeit underused. Galder and Silenoz write very catchy songs, but herein lies my only complaint. Galder doesn’t play the elaborate solos that Astennu did while in the band. Perhaps that is why I gave only four stars. Small complaint notwithstanding, I think this is the perfect album for an inexperienced listener to start out with.
Not everyone will agree with this review. Some will say that only “minimalist” bands are worthy of calling themselves Black Metal. For those I say enjoy your Carpathian Forest and Darkthrone albums. I personally appreciate that I have a choice to listen to intelligent talented bands like Dimmu Borgir.