Where Dimmu Borgir’s previous albums featured choirs and orchestras to add to the integral symphonic to the band’s symphonic black metal sound, to work with the highs and lows of songs, the climaxes and intros, Eonian takes the symphony and choir elements to the next level.
Whilst the band’s previous album, 2010′s Abrahadabra, featured hardly any black metal riffs, it still balanced a heavy mix of choirs, symphony and metal. Eight years later, Eonian features more traditional black metal riffs and there’s some pretty heavy passages throughout the album, but that’s all they are; passages, short bursts of what the band is known for dispersed here and there throughout. There’s a lot more choir vocals throughout the album as if the band wanted to add clean vocals but couldn’t be bothered replacing ICS Vortex so they just go the choir to sing more.
Then there’s the symphonic elements, too numerous to mention. They work well when layered with the metal but when there’s so many symphonic passages throughout without the metal underneath, the album loses its grip. ‘Interdimensional Summit’ features good examples of what the album could have been and ‘Council Of Wolves And Snakes’ features a really cool set of sound effects, but that’s where the highlights end. There’s no climactic thrills, no all out aural assaults reminiscent of albums past. Eonian is lopsided, weighed far too much towards the choir and symphony whilst holding back on the full throttle evil metal madness the band is so well known for.
Reviewed by Paul S Taylor