Named after a volcanic rock formation purported to be an entrance to the underworld, Norway's Dimmu Borgir came out of that country's vital black-metal movement. Starting out as a more melodic outfit, in the mid—'90s the band explored its classical sensibilities and at one point collaborated with the symphonic orchestra of Prague for an album. The aesthetic of a Viking berserker epic undiminished, Borgir found a way to take the orchestra everywhere it went with synthesizers and samples. Rather than use the skins of animals to create a larger-than-life mythological presence, these guys borrowed from rock's past with Kiss makeup gone evil and black guitars with jagged edges. More than most bands in this stylistic vein, Dimmu Borgir transports you outside your normal existence for the duration of a song or a show.
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