DIMMU BORGIR with CANNIBAL CORPSE, the haunted and LAMB OF GOD at the Opera House (735 Queen East) Saturday (May 5). $23-$30. 416-466-0313.
with their five-dollar words
(sample song title: Hybrid Stigmata: The Apostasy), willingness to use real, live classical musicians, synth and samples and a snazzy combination of standard-issue guttural, unintelligible metallic vocals, Dimmu Borgir are pushing the black metal envelope.
Well, somewhat -- the guitars are still played faster than stink and the imagery is appropriately gut-churning.
That said, the Norwegian (except for their drummer, who's British) crew have established enough of a rep on their own in Europe to weather almost anything.
And they'll be tested for sure as they promote their latest wildly orchestral opus, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, on tour with Florida splatter group Cannibal Corpse (sample song title: Meat Hook Sodomy).
Anyway, just because they're a Satanic band doesn't mean Dimmu Borgir's members are actually practising Satanists.
Asked what a quiet evening at home is for him -- mass orgies? ritualistic gutting of cats? -- Dimmu Borgir co-founder and guitarist Silenoz politely offers, "I watch movies, listen to records and just chill out with friends, basically. When I'm not on the road I like to keep it quiet and take it easy."
Which may help explain how a black metal band like Dimmu Borgir attracted the services of the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra, who polished Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia's serrated edges.
"Our producer, Fredrik Nordström, organized that," Silenoz explains through the fog of a midday hangover from the offices of the band's Cali-based record label, Nuclear Blast.
"Since we were recording the album in Sweden, it was a fairly easy thing to do. Of course, they didn't hear the vocals, ha ha. That was probably a good thing, because there were a lot of old people in the orchestra, and I doubt they've heard much metal.
"I am not personally a Satanist," claims Silenoz, who says the one record he owns that would surprise his fans is Johnny Cash's Golden Hits.
"I have no need to label myself as anything. But I have respect for people who are, because it's up to the individual. Besides, two people who would call themselves Satanists could still be totally different from each other."
Oh, why split hairs? The point is, Dimmu Borgir, who can comfortably notch up sales in excess of 100,000 copies an album, are preparing for global domination. After their current North American tour, it's back to Europe, then South America and Japan, clearly an impressive breakthrough for Norwegians singing Thesaurus metal in English.
"We are an epic band, so the lyrics are wide," acknowledges Silenoz. "We've always had these epic song titles. That's just how it is. Adds to the overall allure.
"Unfortunately, outside of Europe, we cannot afford to present our full stage show -- the bigger light show and pyro. That's the downside of playing here."
Even as they plot to spread Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia worldwide, it's nice to know that Dimmu Borgir aren't taken for granted at home.
"Two years ago we played live on the Norwegian Grammys for, like, 2 million viewers. My family was really proud.
"Actually, my grandmother is a fan, although I don't know if it's because of me or because of the music."