A refreshing return to their symphonic black metal sound of yesteryear, “Abrahadabra” is the album that I have been waiting Dimmu Borgir to create for the last ten years. While they may have lost some of their hard core fans over the past decade, they have also continued to expand the breadth of their fan base. No matter what you may think of the band on a personal level, you cannot deny that this is an outstanding album on a purely musical level. With an ensemble orchestra (Kringkastingsorkestret – the Norwegian Radio Orchestra), the Schola Cantorum choir (100+ musicians and singers) and composer Gaute Storaas, “Abrahadabra” is an album of a truly epic adventure.
“Xibir” starts with a rumbling chant and a symphonic accompaniment that slowly builds into a dramatic chorus and elegant symphony. This is a quick introduction of the grand scale, ridiculously high production, and unbelievable symphonic composition that has been achieved throughout the album. The quick opener leads into “Born Treacherous” with simple but catchy guitar riff until the bass line hits and launches you into verse. As simple as the lyrics may be, I find myself singing the words “born treacherous” the rest of the day. “Dimmu Borgir” is the best overall song, with its memorable guitar solos, and has the most dynamic and complex orchestral arrangements and some of the harshest and brutal vocals, even with its slower tempo. There is a song for everyone, from the slow and bleak to the poundingly brutal to the joyfully painful and visceral.
The more times I listen to this album, the more I enjoy it and the more each song draws me further into its grand splendor. If you’re a newer fan of the band, this will show you the incredible ability of its collective mind. If you’re an older fan, jaded or otherwise, you must give this album an opportunity for the album, in its entirety, to wash over you and consume you from the inside out. This is the most genuinely, epically, brilliantly raw and primal that I have heard Dimmu Borgir in many years. Dimmu Borgir have done as the album’s translation declares, “I will create as I speak.”