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Live Review: Dimmu Borgir w/ Amorphis & Wolves in the Throne Room | O2 Forum Kentish Town, Londo


Dimmu Borgir had their 25th anniversary back in 2018. They have become part of the ongoing trend of many long time Metal acts celebrating first albums and 20+ years of bringing us amazing and powerful music. There was a time when Dimmu Borgir were at the forefront of the extreme metal world, but much like the other big band of that day, Cradle of Filth, there is a sense with which they have fallen out of the spot light. For Dimmu Borgir, this might be all because they were slow to bring out albums since In Sorte Diaboli. Releasing two albums in this time. Of course, there was a lot going on behind the closed doors, but the fire that was very much alive when Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and Death Cult Armageddon were coming out, isn't quite as alive. This may not have any reflection on the band but just the buzz that surrounds them. Teaming up with Amorphis and Wolves in the Throne Room, their tour feels to be pushing the very same agenda as their 25th anniversary, although they also boast that a new album is on the horizon too.

Wolves in the Throne Room are a very different band however, they're part of the more atmospheric and long form Black Metal of days past. Their extreme metal lends a sense of authenticity to the evening, something that Dimmu Borgir have moved away from, in favour of something more theatrical and bombastic. So with much smoke and loads of darkness Wolves in the Throne Room took to the stage in an energetically stilted manner. Something wasn't quite right. Whether it be their playing, or their sound engineering, it's difficult to say. Their music just faded to the background much like their dark demeanour enveloped into the darkness. For all their prowess, it's as if they failed to be seen. [6]

Amorphis, on the other hand, were completely different. Dimmu Borgir and Wolves in the Throne Room are a part of the crowd that touches upon Black Metal but Amorphis are a more melodic, more progressive and more standard act. Immediately they show their presence, full of light and happy energies. Wolves in the Throne Room were keen to play to the backs of everyone's ears but Amorphis take on a different approach. They were having fun and they wanted you to engage with them. They wanted you to know it. Bashing out crowd pleasers and all kinds from 'Heart of the Giant', 'Against Widows' to 'Black Winter Day'. They were a lot of fun to get involved with. They even treated crowds with rarer material like 'Sign from the North Side', a first since 2015. It was with Amorphis that crowds started to get moving and loosen up. [8]

But wait, we have our main act to come. Dimmu Borgir are different yet, in approach. Their grandiose feel runs thick in the blood of their music. But, they're late on, we're bathed in recent material from Eonian and Abrahadabra, and the problem is that these albums, for all their larger than life majesty, didn't quite pack the punches of earlier albums. Their recent changes, including a line up change, also impacted this. Much of what happened that night felt like it was a recording. The strengths mixed up in layered music. This also held back the music that allowed for the metal to shine through, like 'Puritania' and 'Progenies of the Great Apocalypse'. It meant that it was quite a mixed evening, almost deadpan plunging through material trying to push the bigger parts of their music and almost as if rushed. As it happens, they had come on late and their setlist was cut to reflect this. A sign of a curfew apparently lingered over them. This meant we lost songs like 'Kings of the Cardinal Creation' and existing songs had that sense of impacting into smoke and mirrors and not much else. [6]

Wolves in the Throne Room

Setlist here.

Facebook: /wolvesinthethroneroom

Twitter: @wittrofficial Bandcamp: /wolvesinthethroneroom.bandcamp.com/

Amorphis

Setlist here.

Facebook: /Amorphis

Twitter: @amorphis

Dimmu Borgir

Setlist here.

Facebook: /dimmuborgir

Twitter: @dimmuborgir

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