Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Blood Red Throne, Dawn of Ashes | House of Blues | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Blood Red Throne, Dawn of Ashes 

When: Sun., Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m. 2010
Price: $25
Breaking up with a lover via text message is beyond gauche, and sacking a longtime bandmate that way is just as bad. That's how Mustis, now the former keyboardist of Dimmu Borgir, found out last fall that he was out of the band; bassist and clean vocalist ICS Vortex also fell victim to the ax wielded by Dimmu vocalist Shagrath, though his dismissal was reportedly handled via e-mail. Yet Dimmu Borgir's ninth album, Abrahadabra (the title is a word that first appeared in Aleister Crowley's Book of the Law), doesn't sound like the work of a skeleton crew or a band in turmoil; choral wailing and orchestral sweep fill in the gaps left by the departed members, and clean vocals from guests Snowy Shaw, Agnete Kjolsrud, and Garm (of Arcturus and Borknagar) provide welcome counterpoints to Shagrath's growl. Dimmu Borgir wield their power with an easy confidence that doesn't quite feel like autopilot, though they've certainly lost some of their feral fury over the years—the band's stylistic drift has resulted in a sound less rooted in black metal and more in a postindustrial, gothic romanticism that's best rendered in shades of gray. Enslaved, Blood Red Throne, and Dawn of Ashes open. —Monica Kendrick


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