World Misantrophy

by: Dimmu Borgir

Those looking for a crash course on Dimmu Borgir would do well to track down World Misanthropy, the Norwegian black metal heroes' insanely comprehensive double-DVD set. Disc One is the primary attraction: Compiled after completing a world tour for their 2001 album, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, it boasts eight pro-shot live tracks (culled from a Stuttgart gig and an appearance in front of thousands at the 2001 Wacken Open-Air Festival in Germany) which can be viewed either sequentially, or as part of a 90-minute film interspersed with backstage footage and interviews. The live footage is exceptional, leaning heavily toward material from Puritanical, 1999's Spiritual Black Dimensions, and 1997's Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, and showcasing Dimmu's solid live presence and musicianship; it also gives nearly equal camera time to each individual bandmember, most notably drummer Nicholas Barker, whose skills are a sight to behold. The backstage camcorder footage is culled from the 2001 tour, and limited primarily to hanging out with tour mates (see if you can spot members of Judas Priest, Lacuna Coil, Nevermore, Sodom, Kreator, and others) and the heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages, interspersed with plenty of candid tomfoolery -- most notably, guitarist Erkekjetter Silenoz stuffing a hotel-room toilet with items various and sundry -- that most likely won't hold up on repeated viewings due to the number of inside jokes amongst band and crew members. And while the one-on-one interviews are informative, touching base with each Dimmu player on his influences and background, those searching for lengthier, more probing insights will be mildly disappointed. The second disc is more retrospective, compiling a collection of clips from the band's 1999 tour of the U.S. and Mexico, three live cuts from a 1998 gig in Krakow, Poland, four promo videos, and a photo gallery -- a solid 45 minutes of ocular entertainment for diehard fans who long for the days when lead vocalist Shagrath spewed blood on stage. The initial pressing of World Misanthropy also featured a bonus CD sporting, most notably, two bonus tracks from the Japanese release of Puritanical ("Masses for the New Messiah" and "Devil's Path 2000"), as well as audio versions of the four Wacken tracks from the first DVD; the special edition also features limited packaging, the DVD case folding out into, of course, a big inverted cross. The painstakingly thorough and first-rate production of World Misanthropy is designed to satiate the most ravenous Dimmu Borgir completist, and does so with much success. ~ John Serba

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