This release featured new keyboardist Mustis and the clean vocals of ICS Vortex (who 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.
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 studio album Abrahadabra and the yet to be released live album Forces of the Northern Night.
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”. 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.”