Guitarist Sven Atle Kopperud (a.k.a. Silenoz) of Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR spoke to Metal Shock Finland about the progress of the mixing sessions for the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2010's "Abrahadabra" album. "We're in the middle of it at the moment, but I would say it has even more variation than any of our previous albums," he said. "It's more epic and symphonic, it's more brutal, it's more black metal, it's more primitive. It includes everything that we are known for, and what's even better about it is that it has just come so easy. The challenge for us is always to shave off the stuff that we think is not good enough. So coming up with material is never really any problem; it's just to figure out which parts to use for songs. That's the challenge — to shave off the fat."
Asked if DIMMU BORGIR once again worked with British producer Russ Russell on the new album, Silenoz said: "This time, we have gone to Fascination Street Studios in Sweden with Jens Bogren. We felt it was time to just do something more organic for this type of a record, for this type of material we have, and to see what we could get out of his production skills, because we have always been fans of his mixes. We've also grown tired of all the digital type of sounding albums that come out here and there all the time. So we wanna go back to the roots in the sense that a drum kit should sound like a drum kit and a guitar should sound like a guitar and vice versa — you get my point. That's what we wanted to do this time."
In terms of the actual songwriting for the new album, Silenoz revealed that "I've done all the lyrics again, but for the musical part, I think we managed to split that pretty much three ways between Galder [guitar], Shagrath [vocals] and myself."
He continued: "After so many years being in a band together, you kind of know your spot really well — you know what your strengths are, what maybe your weaknesses are — and you kind of feed off each other's strengths instead of each other's insecurities. But, of course, being three alpha males in the kitchen, it always causes for a bit of a foodfight. But it shouldn't come easy all the time. It should be somewhat of a creative tension. I think that works in pretty much every artistic environment."
While Silenoz couldn't provide a firm release date for the new DIMMU BORGIR album, he predicted that the record would arrive before the end of the year. "If we keep somewhat to the schedule that we have in mind, I would personally estimate late summer, early fall release, if everything goes as planned," he said. "But it also comes down to timing and what the label thinks is smart strategically.
"It sucks to be sitting on this for another few months before people get to hear it, but I think once the fans sit down and actually listen to this album for real, they will understand that, okay, yeah, it sucked waiting for this for so many years, but it was definitely worth the wait," he added.
DIMMU BORGIR's new DVD, "Forces Of The Northern Night", will be released on April 14 via Nuclear Blast. The set will contain two of the band's live performances: their legendary show in Oslo, presenting DIMMU BORGIR on stage with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a bombastic choir, as well as their entire performance at Wacken Open Air festival in 2012 in Wacken, Germany with almost a hundred musicians on stage.
DIMMU BORGIR's most recent touring lineup included Geir Bratland (APOPTYGMA BERZERK, THE KOVENANT) on keyboards and Terje Andersen (a.k.a. Cyrus; SUSPERIA) on bass.