Spiritual Black Dimensions

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Spiritual Black Dimensions
Studio album by Dimmu Borgir
Released March 2, 1999
Recorded August–October 1998 at Abyss Studio
Genre Black metal[1]
Symphonic metal[2]
Length 49:14
Label Nuclear Blast
Producer Dimmu Borgir
Dimmu Borgir chronology
Godless Savage Garden
(1998)
Spiritual Black Dimensions
(1999)
Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
(2001)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Spiritual Black Dimensions is the fourth studio album by Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir. It was released in 1999 by Nuclear Blast Records. A deluxe edition was released in 2004 with bonus material. There is also a digipak edition of this album which contains no bonus tracks. The digipak has reflective/holographic cover art.

This release featured new keyboardist Mustis and the clean vocals of ICS Vortex (both of whom would later join the band full-time), as well as the departure of long-time drummer Tjodalv, guitarist Astennu, and bassist Nagash.

Musically this was a departure for the group. The music's overall feel is faster and darker with more emphasis on the keyboard lines versus the slower, more riff-heavy approach of previous albums. The band attributes this to Astennu's due influence, as his Carpe Tenebrum project at the time had a very similar musical direction. This album also marked a first in Dimmu's run to feature the clean vocals of ICS Vortex, adding a new dimension to the "Dimmu sound". The band continued to use the contrasting vocals in future albums.

The album cover was part of the top 10 of Greatest Heavy Metal Album Covers by Blender magazine.[3]

The song Grotesquery Conceiled was played live when Dimmu Borgir won the Norwegian grammy award called Spellemannprisen in category metal in 1999. The band was supposed to play the song The Insight and the Catharsis with the symphony orchestra Kringkastingsorkestret, but they backed before show because they refused to perform with Dimmu Borgir due to their satanic message. Later that night at the after party a Dimmu Borgir band member got in a fight with a member from the same orchestra. Dimmu Borgir has since been on good terms with the orchestra, having collaborated with them for the band's ninth studio album Abrahadabra and the yet-to-be-released live album Forces of the Northern Night.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Reptile"   5:17
2. "Behind the Black Curtains of Night-Phantasmagoria"   3:21
3. "Dreamside Dominions"   5:14
4. "United in Unhallowed Grace"   4:22
5. "The Promised Future Aeons"   6:52
6. "The Blazing Monoliths of Defiance"   4:38
7. "The Insight and the Catharsis"   7:17
8. "Grotesquery Conceiled (Within Measureless Magic)"   5:10
9. "Arcane Lifeforce Mysteria"   7:03
Japanese Edition bonus track
No. Title Length
10. "Masses for the New Messiah"   5:11

Reception[edit]

Steve Huey of Allmusic stated that “Dimmu Borgir's arrangements continue to increase in complexity and sophistication on Spiritual Black Dimensions, improving on its predecessors and illustrating the band's musical progression”.[1] In Slayer no. 13, Jon “Metalion” Kristiansen called Spiritual Black Dimensions “a fine case of melodic, over produced, symphonic Metal. If you like this melodic style I can’t really think of anyone doing it better […]. No, I wouldn’t call this Black Metal. Read the interview with FUNERAL MIST for the right definition of Black Metal.”[2]

Personnel[edit]

Dimmu Borgir
Guests
  • ICS Vortex - clean vocals on tracks 1, 3, 7 and 9
Technical Staff

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Steve Huey: Spiritual Black Dimensions - Dimmu Borgir.
  2. ^ a b The Great Rock & Roll Swindle!. In: Jon Kristiansen: Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries. Brooklyn, NY: Bazillion Points Books 2011, p. 419.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]