For some, this is true black metal. For others, not. That seems to be the most important question in many reviewers’ mind. And they seem to be missing the point. This album is not 100% Black Metal. So what?. It’s a killer, and that’s what really matters. On “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia”, you can still find many of the elements that made “Spiritual Black Dimensions” so compelling: Mustis’ weird, creepy keyboard playing, the fantastic vocal interplay between Shagrath’s rasp and Vortex’s “clean” operatic wail, and the scorching guitar riffs of Silenoz. On this album, the guys in Dimmu Borgir still remain true to their Black Metal roots, but this time around, they enhanced their formula by throwing in Swedish Death and Doom metal for good measure. And on “Puritania”, they even experiment with industrial metal (or “cyborgmetal” a la “Fear Factory”, whatever you like to call it). Is all this a bad thing?. I don’t think so. As long as they manage to keep their sound fresh … and they did it with this album!. The songs on this record are first rate, but “Blessings Upon The Throne of Tyranny” is probably the tightest number this band has pulled out yet. And the album’s epic, “Sympozium”, is the kind of pure death metal melody that would make In Flames proud. Just check out the vocals by Vortex on that number. The all-star line-up is completed by Old Man’s Child axe Galder, and ex-Cradle of Filth Nick Barker, who letarally beats the hell out of his drumkit. Producer Frederik Nordstrom (In Flames) wisely avoided the common “Black Metal” mistake of drowning all the crunch in layers upon layers of echo. And there’s even a whole string section to beef up the sound. The lyrics on PEM are more articulate than usual, and aren’t the classical, trite satanic garbage you would expect to hear from Black Metal acts … Still, they are predictably anti-catholic. But this is only a minor fault in this fantastic LP.