Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR have released new artwork for their latest album, "Abrahadabra", in conjunction with the launch of the band's North American tour. The group's record label, Nuclear Blast, states in a press release, "Art-wise, it's a subtle change and will IN NO WAY alter the musical content of this album. Moving forward, this new cover will grace all the different versions once the album is re-pressed, so the original pressing is now — you've got it — a collector's item! Again, it is ABSOLUTELY the same album musically with the same content. ONLY the artwork has changed."
"Abrahadabra" sold 9,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 42 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "In Sorte Diaboli", opened with 14,000 units back in May 2007 to debut at No. 43. This was more than double the 6,400 first-week tally achieved by its predecessor, "Death Cult Armageddon", which came out in September 2003 and landed at position No. 169 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"Abrahadabra" first-week chart positions:
The word "abrahadabra" (which roughly translates into "I will create as I speak") first publicly appeared in Chapter III of "Liber AL vel Legis" (commonly referred to as "The Book of the Law") written by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in 1904.
"Abrahadabra" track listing:
01. Xibir (2:50)
02. Born Treacherous (5:02)
03. Gateways (5:10)
04. Chess With The Abyss (4:08)
05. Dimmu Borgir (5:35)
06. Ritualist (5:13)
07. The Demiurge Molecule (5:29)
08. A Jewel Traced Through Coal (5:16)
09. Renewal (4:11)
10. Endings And Continuations (5:58)
In a recent interview with the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine, DIMMU BORGIR vocalist Shagrath (real name: Stian Tomt Thoresen) was asked why the band chose to break the tradition of using a three-word title for a DIMMU BORGIR album on its latest effort. "It was a tradition for the last records to use a three-word title, basically, for the fact that it represents much more of a unity thing than just one word," he replied. "'Abrahadabra' is more about the transfusion of new blood, I would say, in a way that we have chosen to do a lot of things differently from what we had done before. We wanted to break out of the patterns in many ways, including the people who play on the record, and also the studios we have used for the record — everything is basically different, so therefore we felt it was more right to use a one-word title instead of a [three-word one]."
When asked why DIMMU BORGIR chose to hire almost 100 guest musicians to replace two former members — bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex (real name: Simen Hestnæs) and keyboardist Mustis (real name: Øyvind Mustaparta) — Shagrath said, "Well, you can't see it like that; it's a stupid way of saying it. I wouldn't phrase the question like that. It doesn't make sense, really, because the orchestration has nothing to do with the firing of the two members at all. That's just a stupid question. We have used an orchestra before, but this time we're going for a bigger orchestra to make it more epic and sound bigger, and that's the way we want to go and that has, basically, nothing to do with any previous members leaving or being fired."