Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir is a Norwegian symphonic Black Metal band known for their virtuoso keyboard arrangements, aggression and quality music. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, which means “dark cities” or “dark castles/fortresses” in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse.
According to local legend, it is said that in this place, there is a connection between the earth and infernal regions.
The band has undergone several lineup changes since its inception, with guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath remaining as original members. Their lyrical themes are based on Satanism, anti-Christianity, death, misanthropy, and the occult.

The group was formed in 1993 by multi-instrumentalist Stian “Shagrath” Thoresen, guitarist Sven “Silenoz” Atle Kopperud, bassist Brynjard Tristan, guitarist Kenneth “Tjodalv” Åkesson and keyboardist Stian Aarstad.
A year later, the record label Necromantic Gallery Productions published the EP Inn I Evighetens Mørke, limited to a thousand copies. At the end of 1994, the band signed with No Colors Records, through which their first studio album, For All Tid, was published.

Shagrath with Dimmu Borgir at the See Rock Festival in 2014
Two years later, they released their second studio album, Stormblåst. Prior to its recording, Shagrath took on the role of guitarist, and Tjodalv became the drummer. This year, the EP Devil’s Path was also published. Shortly after, Tristan was fired from the group and made way for Nagash. Aarstad’s absence caused by his military service meant that Shagrath took over the keyboard on the mini-album.

Enthrone Darkness Triumphant (1997-1999)

Galder with Dimmu Borgir in 2007
In 1997, the band was signed by the German label Nuclear Blast. On May 20 of that same year, Enthrone Darkness Triumphant was released, which had a more melodic air than the previous ones. Sometime later, Stian Aarstad left the band. On July 18, 1998, they released their new release, Godless Savage Garden, which included new songs, two recordings of “For All Tid,” an Accept cover and three live songs. Shagrath then took charge of the vocals, and the role of guitarist was performed by the Australian Astennu.

Spiritual Black Dimensions and Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (1999-2001)

In 1999, their fourth studio album, Spiritual Black Dimensions, was released, where the music was even more dominated by keyboards. The big news was the inclusion in some songs of the clean voice of ICS Vortex, known for his work in Borknagar and Arcturus. A new keyboard player named Mustis also joined the band. The album was well-received by fans.

But fame came to the surface in 2001 with the release of “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia”, which, for many, is the band’s best album and was widely accepted by the public. With this release, his music expanded to the entire world. Soon after the release, they went on a world tour.
Still with this release, they released two live albums, “Alive in Torment” and “World Misanthropy”, and the band’s first official DVD was also released with live footage from Wacken Open Air 2001 and behind-the-scenes footage and from places spent on the tour.

Two years later, they released “Death Cult Armageddon”, which was also a milestone in the band’s history, leading them to expand even further, as this was also one of their best albums released to date, winning first place on the Norwegian charts with just one week of release.

In 2005, founding members Shagrath and Silenoz decided to re-record their second studio album, “Stormblåst MMV”.

The album was re-recorded at Abyss Studios (in Stockholm), with the collaboration of Peter Tägtgren (leader of the bands Hypocrisy and Pain). Mustis and Hellhammer also participated in the project, while the other remaining members were working on their other projects. The album contains new songs such as “Avmaktslave” and a new version of “Sorgens Kammer”, titled “Sorgens Kammer Del-II”. The album also featured a DVD featuring a live performance from the 2004 Ozzfest tour.

In Sorte Diaboli and Abrahadabra (2007-2010)

Gods of Metal Festival, 2007
After a big world tour and greater public awareness, now ahead with a new Black Metal, they decided to release a concept album, and “In Sorte Diaboli “came into the world, a very good release that took the band on a new tour already passed by Wacken Open Air.
With the release of the new DVD, entitled “The Invaluable Darkness”, scheduled for October 2nd, fans are eagerly awaiting this release, which aims to show live scenes from “The Invaluable Darkness Tour” around the world and the show recorded at Wacken Open Air 2007 and clips.

In 2009, ICS members Vortex and Mustis independently announced their departures from Dimmu Borgir. Mustis made a statement against the band, stating that he was not properly credited for his contributions to the group’s songs, mentioning that he would possibly take legal action

Dimmu Borgir quickly confirmed their dismissal, releasing a statement explaining that they had been fired. Shagrath, Silenoz and Galder wrote:
“It’s funny how the new album already has half of the compositions ready just by us, without any of them participating, and yet it contains the same elements that our music always had”.
The band’s decision received mixed response from fans.

The band’s ninth studio album, “Abrahadabra”, came out in September 2010 with great artistic production on the CD and also in the digipack version. There is a return to the roots with only Shagrath playing the keyboards. On May 28, 2011, the band performed a concert called “Forces of the Northern Night”, in which they played for the first time with a live orchestra and choir (The Norwegian Orchestra Radio and Choir). This show represented a lot for the band, who managed to fulfil one of their most desired career dreams. In an interview, Shagrath states that the concert was recorded for a DVD release so that all fans could enjoy the event.

The band originally announced in August 2013 that work had begun on the band’s next album. However, the album’s production and release faced several delays. This marked the biggest gap ever between studio releases. On May 4, 2018, the band released the tenth studio album of their career with the title “Eonian”, composed of 10 tracks, successor to Abrahadabra, and marked the band’s first release in 8 years.

Current lineup: Shagrath on lead vocals, Silenoz on rhythm guitar and Tom Rune “Galder” Anderson on lead guitar

Studio Albums

For All Tid (1994)
Stormblåst (1996)
Enthrone Darkness Triumphant (1997)
Spiritual Black Dimensions (1999)
Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (2001)
Death Cult Armageddon (2003)
Stormblåst MMV (2005)
In Sorte Diaboli (2007)
Abrahadabra (2010)
Eonian (2018)