DVD REVIEW: DIMMU BORGIR – “Forces Of The Northern Night”
Norway is home to some of the best black metal in the world, as we’re all well aware by this point. So when we get a chance to see it in it’s home element, it’s a pretty epic experience. In their hometown of Oslo, Norway, Dimmu Borgir recorded the first DVD of the set, Forces of the Northern Night, and they held nothing back. They brought out the all the big guns, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Bombastic Choir, incredible lights, and enormous banners. Oslo, of course, represented their city proudly and showed up en masse; which only makes me want travel to Norway to party with all the beautiful people throwing down. There was a pretty diverse representation in the crowd, you could see flags from Canada, Australia, USA, and more.
Dimmu opens up with the orchestral Xibir softly building into a massive crescendo that any sport team would proudly walk onto the field to. It becomes absolutely immense, while you see clips of the band getting ready and walking on stage, then the music explodes into the first track; Born Treacherous. The music sounds absolutely incredible, perfectly clean and clear, as if they did it in a studio and lip synched it flawlessly, which obviously isn’t the case. Without wasting any time, they roll straight into their heavy hitting tracks Gateways, followed by a double dose of Dimmu Borgir, first only the orchestra and choir, then the entire band. The crowd absolutely loves the back to back combination and goes wild. The percussion section of the orchestra was pretty much the only section of the orchestra or choir that seemed to be enjoying themselves, and they were having a damn good time.
Shagrath does a great job with crowd work and keeping everyone involved, all the while doing an incredible job of sounding exactly like the records. They jump through a few deeper cuts like Ritualist and Eradication Instincts Defined then back to some of the more popular tracks like Vredesbyrd. This show is the definition of epic and relentless, as the band doesn’t let up once throughout the entire show. Even towards the finale as they break into the last few tracks, Puritania, Mourning Palace, and Perfection or Vanity it hardly looks like the guys break a sweat once, as they don’t slow down for a moment. Given that it’s a black metal show, there isn’t a ton of movement to begin with, but they still wander around the stage, viciously headbang, and work the crowd.
The camera work is pretty intense as far as concert coverage goes. Feels like this show was directed by Brian De Palma, with cameras swooping in and out, flying around everywhere. The action shots are perfectly in sync with the music and everything flows beautifully. Later in the show, they cut to in-crowd angle shots to give you an impression of what the show looks and feels like from the pits, which has an immensely powerful effect. It’s one thing to witness a show, flying around the room, getting all the best angles; it’s another thing completely to see it from the mass of people at the heart of the show. This is definitely one of those shows you can watch over and over again without it getting old. Every time I watched it, I noticed something new. For example, after a few watches, I noticed the spiked mic stand which looked horribly uncomfortable, but so damn cool.
The bottom line here is Dimmu Borgir put on an absolutely stellar performance that is well worthy of several repeated watches. Everything about this DVD is clean, polished, and perfectly articulated. From the actual performance itself, the sound, the camera work, even the audience does a great job in participating. It’s an awesome collection of music from a wide range of time that I know any and all Dimmu Borgir fans will absolutely love. The choir and orchestral presence really make this performance stand out as something truly unique and powerful.