Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir
Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir performing in 2011.
Background information
Origin Oslo, Norway
Genres Symphonic black metal, black metal
Years active 1993–present
Labels ex-No Colours, ex-Spikefarm, ex-Cacophonous, ex-Century Media, recent-Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Old Man's Child, Cradle of Filth, Ov Hell, Carpe Tenebrum, Brujeria, The Kovenant, Mayhem, Arcturus, Chrome Division, Code, Susperia, Dødheimsgard, Nile, Borknagar, Nachtmystium, Ragnarok, Angelcorpse, God Dethroned, Vesania, Vader, Infernal Method, Ved Buens Ende
Website www.site.dimmu-borgir.com
Past members
(see below)

Dimmu Borgir (play /ˌdɪm ˈbɔrɡɪər/) is a Norwegian black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. Dimmu borgir means "dark cities" or "dark castles/fortresses" in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The name is derived from a volcanic formation in Iceland, Dimmuborgir. The band has been through numerous line-up changes over the years; guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath are the only founding members remaining.[1][2]



For All Tid and Stormblåst period

Dimmu Borgir was founded in 1993 by Shagrath, Silenoz, and Tjodalv, the band released an EP in 1993 entitled Inn i evighetens mørke ("Into the Darkness of Eternity" in English). This short EP sold out within weeks, and the band followed up with the 1994 full length album For All Tid ('For All Time' in English) This album featured vocal contributions by Vicotnik of Ved Buens Ende and Dødheimsgard and Aldrahn of Dødheimsgard and Zyklon-B. The initial lineup consisted of Shagrath playing drums with Tjodalv on guitar and Silenoz contributing lead vocals. This line-up changed before the release of Stormblåst (translates to "Storm Blown") on Cacophonous Records in 1996, an album considered by many to be their finest.[3] It is also the last album which features all lyrics written and sung in Norwegian.[4][5] This album was criticized by Allmusic because of bad sound quality and inaccessibility to wide audience.

Enthrone Darkness Triumphant period

After Stormblåst, keyboardist Stian Aarstad left the band due to his obligation to serve in the Norwegian army, thus being unable to participate in the 1996 recording of Devil's Path. That period was also marked by the departure of bassist Brynjard Tristan and the arrival of Nagash. Stian Aarstad returned for the recording of 1997's Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. While on tour to support the album, he had trouble attending rehearsals and being on tour, and was subsequently fired.[6] Enthrone Darkness Triumphant was a huge success for the band, and was their first release signed to Nuclear Blast, a German record label. The album was recorded in the Abyss Studios, owned by Hypocrisy's frontman Peter Tägtgren.[7][8] After the release of Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, the band went on tour with In Flames, Dissection and other bands who had penetrated to the scene at the time.

Spiritual Black Dimensions and Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia period

After the tour for Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, the band recruited new members Mustis on keyboards and Astennu on lead guitar. Dimmu Borgir's following full-length albums Spiritual Black Dimensions in 1999 and 2001's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, both met critical acclaim.[9][10][11] However, another line-up change occurred between the two albums; Nagash quit and was replaced by new bassist/singer ICS Vortex, and Tjodalv left due to his family commitments, and to form the subsequent band Susperia,[12] only to be replaced with Nicholas Barker, of Cradle of Filth. Astennu was fired from his guitar duties as well, and was replaced by Galder.[13][14][15] Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia is marked as bands one of biggest penetration on wider scene.

Death Cult Armageddon and Stormblåst MMV period

Despite the regular video play on MTV2 and Fuse TV that their follow-up album would receive, the band stated that they were not "commercially-oriented," and instead, they 'simply wished to spread their message to more people'.[16] In 2003, Dimmu Borgir recorded Death Cult Armageddon. Death Cult Armageddon was recorded with the Prague Philarmonic Orchestra, conducted by Adam Klemens. All orchestrations were arranged by Gaute Storaas (who had previously worked with Dimmu Borgir on the album Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia) In 2004, Dimmu Borgir performed on the mainstage at Ozzfest.

In 2005, the band did a complete re-recording of the Stormblåst album, featuring Hellhammer of Mayhem fame as the session drummer. The album also featured a DVD with a live performance from the 2004 Ozzfest tour.

In Sorte Diaboli period

Dimmu Borgir's eighth studio album, In Sorte Diaboli, was released April 24, 2007.[17] A special edition version was released in a boxed case with a DVD, backward-printed lyrics, and a mirror. The album artwork was released on February 14, 2007 on a promotional webpage for the album. This album features the drumming of "Hellhammer" Jan Axel Blomberg of Mayhem. Blomberg left the band in mid tour in 2007 because of a neck injury that resulted in limited movement of his right arm. With the release of this album, Dimmu Borgir became the first black metal band with a number one album in their native country.[18]

Shagrath performing on Gods of Metal 2007.

In 2009, members ICS Vortex and Mustis independently announced their departure from Dimmu Borgir. Mustis released a statement claiming his disfavor with the band, stating that he was not properly credited for his writing contributions to the band's music, mentioning possibly taking legal action.[19]

Dimmu Borgir soon after confirmed the pair's dismissal from the band, releasing a statement explaining why the two were fired.[20] Shagrath, Silenoz, and Galder wrote, "Funny then, how the new album is halfway finished written already by the rest of us without any of these guys' input, still having all those elements we're known for."[20]

Abrahadabra period

Dimmu Borgir's ninth studio album, Abrahadabra, was released on September 24, 2010 in Germany, September 27, 2010 for the rest of Europe, and October 12, 2010 in North America.[21] Silenoz explained that the growing periods of time between albums was because the band had stopped writing music while touring, which was affecting the quality of the music. He described the new album as having an "eerie and haunting feel to it," adding that the material is "epic," "primal," atmospheric and ambient. A promotional image released with the statement showed Shagrath returning to the keyboards.[22] The album features an ensemble orchestra, the Kringkastingsorkestret (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra), as well as the Schola Cantorum choir, totaling more than 100 musicians and singers. Gaute Storaas, composer of the orchestral arrangements, released a statement on his role in working on the album. “Their music is epic, thematic and symphonic already from the creation; they are clearly having an orchestral approach to composing. My role in this is sometimes just to transcribe their themes, sometimes to take their ideas, tear them apart and build them back up in ways that are true to the band's intentions. The music must also be both interesting and playable for the musicians, and hopefully, meet the quality standards of the orchestral world.”

On July 8, the band confirmed that they had tapped Swedish multi-instrumentalist Snowy Shaw (Therion, Dream Evil) to replace bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex on the band's upcoming album, "Abrahadabra", and world tour.[23] On August 25 it was announced that Snowy Shaw has left Dimmu Borgir to rejoin Therion.[24] On September 17, 2010 Dimmu Borgir released the song "Born Treacherous" from their upcoming album Abrahadabra on their official MySpace page.[25] Then on September 24 the band announced they would stream Abrahadabra in its entirety until 7 p.m. EST that evening.[26] The keyboards and bass are currently played by Gerlioz from Apoptygma Berzerk and Cyrus of Susperia respectively, and the clean vocals are sampled. On May 28, 2011 Dimmu Borgir gave a very special one-off show at the Oslo Spektrum with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Schola Cantorum choir. A live album and DVD of the show titled "Forces of the Northern Night" with an accompanying documentary is scheduled for release later this year.


Dimmu Borgir's older releases (since 1992 to 1999) are strongly influenced by Darkthrone, Mayhem, Bathory, Emperor, Celtic Frost, Immortal, Venom and Iron Maiden.[1] The band became more progressive and symphonic through the years. Significant experimentation started approximately around 2000, during the era of Spiritual Black Dimensions (due to the addition of Vortex's clean vocals, and the variety of musical ideas from then-new member Mustis,) as well as Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia[15] due to addition of influences from composers such as Antonín Dvořák, Enya, Richard Wagner and Frédéric Chopin.[27]


To see other releases:

Galder and ICS Vortex live on Gods of Metal Festival 2007.

Full-length albums

Band members

For All Tid
Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
Godless Savage Garden
Spiritual Black Dimensions
Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
Death Cult Armageddon
Stormblåst MMV
In Sorte Diaboli
Recent line-up


  • Shagrath (Stian Tomt Thoresen) – vocals (since 1995), drums (1992–1995), guitars (1995–1997), bass (2005)
  • Silenoz (Sven Atle Kopperud) – rhythm guitars (since 1992), lead vocals (1992–1995), bass (2005)
  • Galder (Tom Rune Andersen) – lead guitars (since 2000)
  • Daray (Dariusz Brzozowski) – drums, percussion (since 2008)
  • Cyrus (Terje Andersen) – bass guitar (since 2010)
  • Gerlioz (Geir Bratland) – keyboards, synthesizer (since 2010)[28]


  • Tjodalv (Ian Kenneth Åkesson) – lead guitars (1992–1995), drums, percussion (1995–1999)
  • Stian Aarstad – keyboards, piano (1992–1997)
  • Brynjard Tristan (Ivar Tristan Lundsten) – bass (1992–1996)
  • Nagash (Stian Arnesen) – bass, backing vocals (1996–1999)
  • Astennu (Jamie Stinson) – lead guitars (1997–1999)
  • Mustis (Øyvind Mustaparta) – keyboards, piano (1998–2009)
  • ICS Vortex (Simen Hestnæs) – bass (1999–2009), clean vocals (1998–2009)
  • Nicholas Barker – drums, percussion (1999–2005)
  • Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg) – drums, percussion (2005–2007)


  • Jens Petter – lead guitars (1996–1997)
  • Kimberly Goss – keyboards (1997–1998)[29]
  • Aggressor (Carl-Michael Eide) – drums, percussion (1997)
  • Archon – lead guitars (2000)
  • Reno Kiilerich – drums, percussion (2003–2004)
  • Tony Laureano – drums, percussion (2004–2005, 2007–2008)
  • Secthdamon (Odd Tony Ingebrigtsen) – bass (2007)
  • Snowy Shaw (Tommie Helgesson) – bass, clean vocals (2010)


  1. ^ a b Dimmu Borgir. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  2. ^ Dimmu Borgir. Metal Storm. Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  3. ^ Deneu, Max. "Stormblast review". Exclaim!. http://exclaim.ca/musicreviews/generalreview.aspx?csid2=846&fid1=19736&csid1=78. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  4. ^ Dimmu Borgir – For All Tid CD Album. Cduniverse.com (1997-10-21). Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  5. ^ Dimmu Borgir – Stormblast CD Album. Cduniverse.com (2002-03-19). Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  6. ^ Dimmu BorgirTickets – Cheap Dimmu Borgir at OnlineSeats
  7. ^ Peter Tägtgren – Bio, CDs and Vinyl at Discogs. Discogs.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  8. ^ Anderson, Jason. (1997-05-27) Enthrone Darkness Triumphant – Dimmu Borgir. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  9. ^ Huey, Steve. "Spiritual Black Dimensions review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r399101. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  10. ^ O'Neill, Brian. "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r524537. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  11. ^ Palmerston, Sean. "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia review". Exclaim!. http://exclaim.ca/musicreviews/generalreview.aspx?csid2=846&fid1=9126&csid1=16. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  12. ^ Dimmu Borgir Biography. Sing365.com (1999-03-01). Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  13. ^ Dimmu Borgir – Spiritual Black Dimensions CD Album. Cduniverse.com (2004-11-02). Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  14. ^ Dimmu Borgir – Godless Savage Garden CD Album. Cduniverse.com (1998-08-04). Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  15. ^ a b O'Neill, Brian. (2001-03-20) Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia – Dimmu Borgir. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  16. ^ Dimmu Borgir interview (09/2003). Metalstorm.net. Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  17. ^ Dimmu Borgir – In Sorte Diaboli CD Album. Cduniverse.com (2007-04-24). Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  18. ^ "Dimmu Borgir on nuclearblast.de". http://www.nuclearblast.de/index.php?Action=showDynamicPage&artistname=DIMMU+BORGIR&id=11&ident=artistsfull#DIMMU%20BORGIR. 
  19. ^ "Dimmu Borgir Splits With Keyboardist Mustis, Bassist/Vocalist Vortex". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. 30 August 2009. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=126138. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  20. ^ a b "Dimmu Borgir: 'We Have Put Up With Unprofessionalism And Bad Live Performances For Years'". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. 2 September 2009. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/Blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=126340. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  21. ^ "DIMMU BORGIR: New Album Update". http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=140958. 
  22. ^ "Dimmu Borgir Working On 'Grand, Huge, Epic And Primal' New Album". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. 31 January 2010. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=134349. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  23. ^ "It's Official: SNOWY SHAW Is The New Bassist/Clean Vocalist For DIMMU BORGIR". http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=145008. 
  24. ^ "SNOWY SHAW 'Quits' DIMMU BORGIR, Rejoins THERION". http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=145074. 
  25. ^ "New Dimmu Borgir Song Streaming". Metal CallOut. http://www.metalcallout.com/metal-news/new-dimmu-borgir-song-streaming.html. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  26. ^ "Dimmu Borgir- Abrahadabra: Entire New Album Streaming". Metal CallOut. http://www.metalcallout.com/metal-news/dimmu-borgir-abrahadabra-entire-new-album-streaming.html. Retrieved YEAR-MONTH-DAY. 
  27. ^ Serba, John. (2003-09-09) Death Cult Armageddon – Dimmu Borgir. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2011-06-11.
  28. ^ "DIMMU BORGIR Guitarist Talks 'Abrahadabra' In New Video Interview". http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=145889. 
  29. ^ Dimmu Borgir Profile – Dimmu Borgir Discography – Biography Of Dimmu Borgir. Heavymetal.about.com (2011-03-02). Retrieved on 2011-06-11.

External links

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