Let Your Dimmu Light Shine

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If a cartoon snake – or G.I. Joe’s nemesis Cobra Commander – ever embarked on a music career, Shagrath, the frontman for Dimmu Borgir, would have to provide the vocals. I caught Dimmu at the Beaumont Club earlier this week. It was a performance I’d been looking forward to since 2004, when I discovered the band on Ozzfest’s main stage.

Obviously, Tuesday night’s show was scaled back quite a bit from the festival gig. In fact, there was hardly anything epic about the club show. The organ sounds, which are the backbone for a lot of Dimmu music, weren’t very prominent. Visually, the band didn’t seem so gothed out. Singer Shagrath’s look was more Viking than vampire.

Which isn’t to say the experience wasn’t entertaining.

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It tastes like burning!

The sheer spectacle of the crowd made the 12 bucks I plunked down for two Boulevards totally worthwhile. The view from the club’s upper deck allowed me to survey the crowd as well as the performers. I soon concluded that only two types of haircuts are acceptable for male metalheads: really short (like almost skinhead) or really long. Also, a lot of really short dudes are into metal. I wonder if they’re trying to make up for their height with a display of aggressive tendencies. My tiny male dog does the same thing.

Because guys of all sizes far outnumbered women at the concert, it was one of those rare times when there’s no line for the ladies room but a long wait to get into the men’s. The women’s restroom was empty when I headed there. I called over my shoulder to invite my boyfriend to use the second women’s stall, but he didn’t hear me or didn’t want to break the rules. And so I was joined in the bathroom by a strange, young fellow with long stringy hair and a jean jacket who promised not to “peep” on me but warned that he had “to take a big shit.” Needless to say, I didn’t waste much time powdering my nose.

Shortly before I decided I’d had enough Norwegian black metal (and its fans) for one night, Shagrath, gentleman that he is, dedicated a song to all of the ladies in the crowd. It was called “A Succubus in Rapture.” And having read the lyrics, I’m not so sure he was flattering us.

-- Crystal K. Wiebe

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