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Dimmu Borgir ( in English) is a Norwegian black metal band from Oslo, Norwaymarker, formed in 1993. Dimmu borgir means "dark castle" or "dark fortresses" in Icelandic and Old Norse. The name is derived from a volcanic formation in Iceland, Dimmuborgirmarker. The band has been through numerous line-up changes over the years, with guitarist Silenoz and Vocalist Shagrath being the only founding members left.


For all tid and Stormblåst

Dimmu Borgir started as a satanic, melodic black metal band in 1993. Formed by Shagrath, Silenoz, and Tjodalv, the band released an EP in 1994 entitled Inn i evighetens mørke ("Into the Darkness of Eternity" in English). This short EP sold out within weeks, and the band followed up with the 1994 full length album For all tid ('For all Time' in English) . This album featured musical contributions by members of Dødheimsgard and Ved Buens Ende. The initial lineup consisted of Shagrath playing drums with Tjodalv on guitar and Silenoz contributing backing vocals. This line-up changed before the release of Stormblåst (translates to "Storm Blown") on Cacophonous Records in 1996. Stormblåst received high praise from many melodic black metal fans, and is often regarded as a highlight of the band's career . It is also the last album which features all lyrics written and sung in Norwegian.

Enthrone Darkness Triumphant

After Stormblåst, Keyboardist Stian Aarstad left the band due to his obligation to serve in the Norwegian army, thus being unable to participate in the 1996 recording of Devil's Path. That period was also marked by the departure of bassist Brynjard Tristan and the arrival of Nagash. Stian Aarstad returned for the recording of 1997's Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. While on tour to support the album, he had trouble attending rehearsals and being on tour, and was subsequently fired . Enthrone Darkness Triumphant was a huge success for the band, and was their first release signed to Nuclear Blast, a German record label. The album was recorded in the Abyss Studios, owned by Hypocrisy's frontman Peter Tägtgren.

Spiritual Black Dimensions and Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia

After the tour for Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, the band recruited new members Mustis on keyboards and Astennu on lead guitar. Dimmu Borgir's following full-length albums Spiritual Black Dimensions in 1999 and 2001's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, both met critical acclaim. . However, another line-up change occurred between the two albums; Nagash quit and was replaced by new bassist/singer ICS Vortex, and Tjodalv left (due to his family commitments, and to form the subsequent band Susperia ), only to be replaced with Nicholas Barker, of Cradle of Filth. Astennu was fired from his guitar duties as well due to incompatibility (reportedly, he was speaking ill of the band behind their backs and wanted them to be a Morbid Angel cover band).

Death Cult Armageddon

Despite regular video play on MTV2 and Fuse TV that their follow-up album would receive, the band has stated that they are not "commercially-oriented," and instead, they 'simply wish to spread their message to more people' . In 2003, Dimmu Borgir used their major record label financial leverage to record an album titled Death Cult Armageddon. On this album the band decided to not use a live orchestra, instead leaving the duty mostly to the band's keyboardist, Mustis, in the studio . In 2004, Dimmu Borgir performed on the mainstage at Ozzfest. Sections of the album were recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra to enhance the classical arrangements which have always augmented the band's style . In multiple interviews Shagrath mentions the many troubles and shortcomings that came along with using the orchestra from Prague. Two full weeks of studio work were spent cleaning up the mistakes .

In 2005, the band did a complete re-recording of the Stormblåst album, featuring Hellhammer of Mayhem fame as the session drummer. The album also featured a DVD with a live performance from the 2004 Ozzfest tour.

In Sorte Diaboli

Dimmu Borgir's newest album, In Sorte Diaboli, was released April 24, 2007. A special edition version was released in a boxed case with a DVD, backward-printed lyrics, and a mirror. The album artwork was released on February 14, 2007 on a promotional webpage for the album. This album features the drumming of Hellhammer of Mayhem. Blomberg left the band in mid tour in 2007 because of a neck injury that resulted in limited movement of his right arm. With the release of this album, Dimmu Borgir became the first black metal band with a number one album in their native country.

Departure of ICS Vortex and Mustis, upcoming album

In 2009, members ICS Vortex and Mustis independently announced their departure from Dimmu Borgir. Mustis released a statement claiming his disfavor with the band, stating that he was not properly credited for his writing contributions to the band's music, mentioning possibly taking legal action. Dimmu Borgir soon after confirmed the pair's dismissals from the band, making their own statement on their official webpage, claiming the two were fired for lack of a work ethic, poor stage performance, greed, and among other things, personal differences.

In the same statement, Shagrath, Silenoz, and Galder wrote "Funny then, how the new album is halfway finished written already by the rest of us without any of these guys' input, still having all those elements we're known for." No reference is made to a title but in the January edition of Decibel Magazine there is an ad for Nuclear Blast stating a Dimmu Borgir record out in 2010. No specific date was given.


Band members

By year

Role Year
1993-1995 1995-1996 1996–1997 1997-1998 1999-2000 2000-2004 2004-2005 2005-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-
Vocals Silenoz Shagrath
Rhythm Guitar Silenoz
Lead Guitar Tjodalv Shagrath Astennu Galder
Bass Brynjard Tristan Nagash ICS Vortex N/A
Drums Shagrath Tjodalv Nicholas Barker Tony Laureano Hellhammer Tony Laureano Daray
Keyboard Stian Aarstad Shagrath Kimberly Goss Mustis Shagrath

By album

Role Album (LPs)
For all tid Stormblåst Enthrone Darkness Triumphant Spiritual Black Dimensions Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia Death Cult Armageddon In Sorte Diaboli
Vocals Silenoz/Shagrath Shagrath Shagrath/ICS Vortex
Rhythm Guitar Silenoz
Lead Guitar Tjodalv Shagrath Astennu Galder
Bass Brynjard Tristan Nagash ICS Vortex
Drums Shagrath Tjodalv Nicholas Barker Hellhammer
Keyboard Stian Aarstad Mustis

Current line-up

  • Shagrath (Stian Thoresen) – lead vocals(1995–present), guitars (1995–1997, 2005), drums, percussion (1993–1995), bass (2005), keyboards (1996, 2009–present)
  • Silenoz (Sven Atle Kopperud) – rhythm guitars (1993–present), lead vocals (1993–1995)
  • Galder (Thomas Rune Andersen) – lead guitars (2000–present)

Former members

  • Brynjard Tristan (Ivar Tristan Lundsten) – bass (1993–1996)
  • Stian Aarstad – keyboards (1993–1997)
  • Nagash (Stian Arnesen) – bass guitar, backing vocals (1996–1999)
  • Tjodalv (Ian Kenneth Åkesson) – drums, percussion (1995–1999), guitars (1993–1995)
  • Astennu (Jamie Stinson) – lead guitars (1997–2000)
  • Nicholas Barker – drums, percussion (1999–2004)
  • Archon – lead guitars (2000)
  • Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg) – drums, percussion (2005–2007)
  • ICS Vortex (Simen Hestnæs) – clean vocals (1998–2009), bass (1999–2009)
  • Mustis (Øyvind Mustaparta) – keyboards, synthesizers (1998–2009)

Live members

  • Jens Petter – guitars (1996–1997)
  • Aggressor (Carl-Michael Eide) – drums, percussion (1997)
  • Kimberly Goss – keyboards (1997–1998)
  • Reno Killerich (from Panzerchrist) – drums, percussion (2003–2004) [during the Death Cult Armageddon Tour]
  • Tony Laureano – drums, percussion (2004–2005, 2007–2008)
  • Cyrus (from Susperia) – guitars (2008) [Blackest of the Black Tour]
  • Daray (Dariusz Brzozowski) – drums, percussion (2008–2009, live only)

External links


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