I work in a record store so I was able to hear Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia before it’s release date. I have been looking forward to it’s release so that I could find out other people’s opinions of this record. I have to rely Amazon to get other opinions because I don’t know of anybody else in my town that listens to black metal. The first thing that stood out to me on this album was the excellent production. It sounds great. Especially the drums. One complaint about Dimmu Borgir’s previous release, Spiritual Black Dimensions, is that the drums weren’t up enough in the mix (especially the bass drum.) That is not the case here. I am not a fan of Cradle of Filth, so when I heard that Nicholas was replacing Tjodalv (one fo my favorite drummers) I was bummed. Well Nicholas has totally earned my respect here. I had no idea that he coud pull off blast-beats like this. I think that his style fits in well with Shagrath’s/Silenoz’s/Mustis’s songwriting. I was glad to find out that Vortex is now a permanent member of the band. His clean vocals are a real treat. I enjoyed his work with Borknagar and Arcturus as well as his contribution to Spiritual Black Dimentions. I wish that he sang a little more on this album because his clean voice is a great compliment to Shagrath’s screech. The music seems to be a little more guitar-driven than usual. While the keyboards are still very prominent (it wouldn’t be Dimmu Borgir otherwise) the songs seem to revolve more around guitar riffs. It sounds great though. Another thing worth mentioning is Galder of Old Man’s Child. As I understand, he did not join the band until after most of the songwriting was completed. He mostly just played the guitar solos. So if you are like me, we will have to wait until the next album to find out how he will truly contribute to the band’s style. (I am happy that he will continue Old Man’s Child as well as play guitar for DM.) There is really only one thing that I am a little uncomfortable with on this album, and that is the sampling. There are some songs that have samples here and there. They don’t really hurt the songs, but they don’t really seem necessary. In my opnion, the last thing that black metal needs is any hint of 1990’s style radio-metal. But if they wanted them there, that is ok with me (After all, it is their band.) I just hope that it isn’t a sign of things to come. I am not worried about Dimmu Borgir getting any radio play anytime soon, I just hope they don’t start to put alot of electronic elements in their music. Overall, I am very pleased with this album. If you are already a fan of Dimmu Borgir, you should not be dissappointed by PEM. They are heavier than ever, and the elements that make their music beautiful are still there. Lyricaly, the album has nothing new to offer, but I doubt that anyone expects to hear much of anything else besides all the Satan stuff (personally, I think it gets old quick.) But Dimmu Borgir is all about the music for me. The band may not appreiciate this point of view, but I don’t feel that I have to be Satanic to enjoy their CDs. If you are new to Dimmu Borgir, I recomend buying this album, but I would start off your collection with Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. It is my favorite release of their’s and I think that it is one of the best black metal albums ever. One last thing…..Cool pictures in the sleeve.