When it comes to organized religion, Erkekjetter Silenoz, the guitarist/ songwriter for Norway's Dimmu Borgir, considers himself to be an equal-opportunity hater.
"I think most people -- at least our fans -- know our stance against religion," he says, his accent as deep as a fjord. "It doesn't have to be Christianity, but as soon as you mention Islam, then you're looked upon as a racist. But, of course, religion in general, we are against it."
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That doesn't mean Silenoz and his black-metal confederates -- vocalist Shagrath, bassist Vortex, guitarist Galder, keyboardist Mustis and drummer Nick Barker -- reject every otherworldly belief. In Sorte Diaboli, the outfit's latest aural assault, is something of a valentine to a mystical figure: the Bible's biggest bad boy. "The story is in the Dark Ages, and the main character works for the local mission," Silenoz explains. "He feels more and more that this is not him, and over the course of just a few weeks' time, he experiences a huge spiritual change. He discovers his true bloodline -- and he identifies with the bloodline of the Devil."
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Sat., April 19, 8 p.m., 2008