After a big eight-year gap from ‘Abrahadabra’ leading up to now, Norwegian symphonic black metal entity Dimmu Borgir has once again arisen from the blackest depths of the genre and have made a triumphant return with a fresh and prevailing full-length album entitled, ‘Eonian’. With the world remaining flummoxed by the band’s latest singles off the album, we spoke with stringsman and longtime member of the group Silenoz about the development of ‘Eonian’, the evolution from ‘Abrahadabra’ onwards, the structural side of the band, and his overall feelings with the final product.
“We feel extremely proud and confident about the latest achievement,” Silenoz says. “I think it’s a result of many things, like obviously not having a deadline. Writing a new album without a deadline can be both a good and a bad thing, but this time around, it was a good thing. We didn’t intend it to be this long of a gap, but a lot of things have happened out of our control and there have been delays, and before you know it, time just flies. We knew pretty early on in the process that to finish this record we had to take the time it takes. There’s no point for us to try and control the beast, it’s gonna be released from its cage when it’s ready,” he chuckles.
The world got to taste the first sample of what Dimmu Borgir had prepared for ‘Eonian’ by releasing music videos for Interdimensional Summit and Council of Wolves and Snakes on YouTube. Since then, the amount of views have racked up the anticipation for the record that the fans have been so eager to listen to. However, Silenoz knew it wasn’t so simple to pick the first impression of the album to present to the people. He also wanted to perplex the audience in order to build the expectations for the fans, and hope that they will remain broad-minded for when they finally witness the full package.
“The challenge here was that we could basically have taken any other song off the album as the first or second single. That’s extremely hard for us, trying to be objective about it. At the same time, you wanna satisfy the fans, and once the first and second single is out, especially when the album is out there, it’s basically out of our control. There’s nothing we can do about it, because the songs are on the album, and each song is a piece of the puzzle. I would love the fans to still have some patience about the album once they get it and let it sink under the skin after a few spins. It’s an overload of information and it just hits you in the head. It’s not something that you can judge after three or four listens. You have to give it time and maybe even stay away from it for a few days and then take it back in. Of course, it’s important for us that if the fans could be open-minded and curious about things, and not judge things from what we have been before. I would like for people to keep an open mind and judge it for what it is, not based on what they’ve heard before or compare it to other bands, because it’s its own entity, basically.”
One thing that Silenoz feels most proud of the record is the difference between ‘Eonian’ and all of their previous albums. Everything came fluidly like it usually does for them when creating new music, but there were very diverse approaches that were made by Dimmu Borgir. But no matter what they happen to come up with in the process, there’s always a way to ‘Dimmu-fy’.
“We’ve tried to be less analytical about stuff and try to make things basically write itself a bit more. It’s a bit hard to describe, because we don’t have a formula on how to write songs. It’s not like we sit down and say, ‘Oh, let’s make this type of song’. We individually bring stuff into the Dimmu pot, and whatever flavour comes out, we keep it and that’s a very old school way of writing songs. You don’t wanna be limiting yourself thinking: ‘We can’t do this or do that’. We come to the point where we’re like, ‘Okay, we can do this. We can change it around and Dimmu-fy things’. Even if we have a typical thrash metal riff or a very melodic keyboard riff, we can just change it around. Whether we like it or not, it’s going to end up sounding like Dimmu. That’s our strength, I think, as well as being spontaneous; and when it comes to writing songs, it’s very important to try not to be stuck on a certain pattern or whatever.”
Considering that it has been eight years since Dimmu Borgir’s last album, the title ‘Eonian’ seemed to have been applicable for the band to use. The reason being is because the concept of time has been a never-ending cycle that will continue to remain intact with us all, forever. However, Silenoz and co. chose to put the listener’s beliefs first before their own on their personal lyricism that follows throughout the course of ‘Eonian’, in order to keep the listener speculating what they’re listening to.
“People have been speaking a lot about time for a while. I feel that, without going too much into the lyrical theme, my idea behind the album title is that, I guess you could describe it in a way that everything that was, everything that is, and everything that will ever be is like we’re dealing with different type of energies. The way I perceive it is that energies cannot be made or destroyed, so it’s always there. It’s like we’re going in a cosmic circle or whatever you wanna call it. We have deliberately tried to explain too much about the lyrical theme this time around. With this, we basically want to challenge the listener just as we’ve challenged ourselves with what we do and what we’ve written. It’s very important for us that the listener forms their own opinion, this way they’re not biased with our subjective stance on it, and that’s the exact thing which is behind it all; to have an open mind. Be curious and that will make you feel embodied in this enormous sense of freedom.”