Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR have announced their collaboration with Norwegian composer and Berklee College of Music summa cum laude alumnus Gaute Storaas, the 51-member KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and the 38-member Schola Cantorum Choir for the band's as-yet-untitled new album.
To date, over 101 musicians have lent their talents to the making of the CD.
Composer Gaute Storaas shares some insight on what it's like to work with DIMMU BORGIR: "There have been several attempts of dressing up rock bands in suits, bow ties and symphonic splendor, to various degrees of success. Working with DIMMU BORGIR is quite different. Their music is epic, thematic and symphonic already from the creation; they are clearly having an orchestral approach to composing. My role in this is sometimes just to transcribe their themes, sometimes to take their ideas, tear them apart and build them back up in ways that are true to the band's intentions. The music must also be both interesting and playable for the musicians, and hopefully, meet the quality standards of the orchestral world."
DIMMU BORGIR's ninth studio album will be released in Germany on October 8, in the rest of Europe on October 11, and in North America on October 12 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Earlier in the year, DIMMU BORGIR guitarist Silenoz (real name: Sven Atle Kopperud) told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2007's "Il Sorte Diaboli", "The words that come to mind, if we should even try and attempt at describing [the new material] at this point, would be something like: grand, huge, epic and primal," he said. "It has this eerie and haunting feel to it. Atmosphere and ambience!
He continued, "It's hard to say anything distinct or speak objectively about the new material when you're in the middle of the writing process — we're too close to it at this stage — but we'd be lying if we said it's not good. We're very confident in the new material and we believe it'll raise a few eyebrows. We might even have to trim our own!"
Regarding why the wait between albums seems to be getting longer for DIMMU BORGIR, Silenoz said, "Because we want the next album to be a better and stronger one. We're more critical of each process and we take the time it needs. Quality is, at the end of the day, in the eye of the beholder, but once we start rushing things, like trying to write music while on tour to speed things up — forget about it. We've tried it before and it didn't work. We focus 110 percent on one thing at a time. Plus, if we'd release an album every year, where would the expectation be? Where would the excitement be?"
The remaining members of DIMMU BORGIR issued a statement on August 31, 2009 confirming keyboardist Mustis' (real name: Øyvind Mustaparta) and bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex's (real name: Simen Hestnæs) departures from the group. The statement also downplayed the impact the lineup changes will have on the sound of DIMMU BORGIR next album, insisting that "the creative force in the band is highly intact, perhaps even more so than ever."
Mustis issued a statement on August 30 claiming that his dismissal from DIMMU BORGIR was caused by his efforts to "address the fact that many songs written by me had not been registered properly under my name in their credits. Without naming every single track, let us just say that a good majority of albums like 'Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia' and 'In Sorte Diaboli' would have been vastly different had I not composed and created as much as I actually did," he said. "Sadly, based on terrible gaps in the communication process and a failure to find logical rationale for why this had been done this way found me hitting wall after wall as opposed to finding a professional and reasonable solution to the problem. My inquiries and investigation into the issues which I wished to resolve and move on from would in the end find me being fired from the group. No discussions about it, just 'goodbye' (via text message)."