December 15, 2022 Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (Remixed & Remastered Album Review)
In the world of Symphonic Black Metal, the list of contributors might be long, but the top echelon has to include Norway’s own Dimmu Borgir. Entering the scene in the early ‘90s, Dimmu Borgir would stand out in the underground early on with albums such as 1995’s For all Tid and 1996’s Stormblåst. Picking up more mainstream notoriety with 1997’s Enthrone Darkness Triumphant and 1999’s Spiritual Black Dimensions, it would be 2001’s Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia that would truly put the band on the international Metal map.
Released in March of 2001, it was the first album where the band utilized real orchestral instrumentation instead of just keyboard lines. A massive piece of work, the album sounded larger than life; soaring high and projecting ominous vibes when necessary. A true piece of art, to many, nothing can touch it. However, in 2022, the Dimmu camp has decided to dust off the two-decade old recordings to remix and remaster them.
Released on October 28th through Nuclear Blast Records, there is no question some might wonder, why mess with perfection? However, Dimmu Borgir are known to not let their artistic impulses be controlled by popular opinion. After all, they did re-record and put out a new edition of Stormblåst back in 2005, and that had a mixed reaction. Nonetheless, the band’s tenacity to do what they want when they want is quite commendable.
With all of this in mind, if you are a true fan of Symphonic Metal, the 2022 remixed and remastered edition of Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia is truly a treat. Utilizing more modern production techniques, the new sound is cleaner and tighter than the original. Again, a matter of preference, from a technical standpoint, you can now experience the true depth of the arrangements even better. But there is another treat, 2022’s Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia physical format comes in a three CDs or three LPs set of which the first two are the remastered versions of the original songs. Which leaves the third CD or LP, and this offers some rare demos, rough recordings and unreleased tunes from the rehearsal room.
Now, all fans of Dimmu Borgir are familiar with the original music. So, when the newly remastered and remixed “Fear and Wonder” begins with the instrumental and theatrics, the cleaner sound immediately hits you. Fortunately, the new polish does not take away the doom and gloom, nor their metal vibes. For example, “Blessings Upon the Throne of Tyranny” still brings along fast shredding and growled vocals that will raise your adrenaline levels, while tracks like “Kings of the Carnival Creation” pours on the somber tones. Overall, the music is still dark and each song paints a picture worth a thousand words… just now in higher definition.
Then it gets even more interesting with the unreleased and raw, songs dubbed Dust of Cold Memories. Eleven songs in total, while they are not perfect, their imperfections are exactly what makes them so interesting; For example, the version of “Hybrid Stigmata – The Apostasy” is rough, but melodic, “Blessings Upon the Throne of Tyranny” still is blistering, but “IndoctriNation” sounds even harsher. In all, each track here has its own style and flow, all different, and yet, they all carry the same spirit and the unique sound of Dimmu Borgir.
In the end, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (Remixed & Remastered) is a great Christmas gift for all Metal fans out there. Something you really should buy on vinyl or as a CD set, do so, press play and let the music fill all the space around you. A nice addition to Dimmu Borgir’s discography, Cryptic Rock gives this release 5 out of 5 stars.