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Dimmu Borgir

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Oslo, Norway (1993 – present)

Dimmu Borgir is a symphonic black metal band from Norway. “Dimmu Borgir” means “Dark Cities” or “Dark Fortresses” in Icelandic and Old Norse. The name is derived from a volcanic formation in Iceland, Dimmuborgir.

Dimmu Borgir started as a 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. This album featured musical contributions by members of Dødheimsgard and Ved Buens Ende. The initial lineup consisted of Shagrath playing guitar with Tjodalv on drums and Silenoz backing vocals, however this 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.

After Stormblåst, Dimmu Borgir’s lineup took a sharp turn. 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 their bassist Brynjard Tristan and the arrival of Nagash. Stian Aarstad returned for the recording of 1997’s Enthrone Darkness Triumphant.

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