Reviews Round-Up Oct 2022 Nuclear Blast SpecialReviews Round-Up Oct 2022 Nuclear Blast Special


• DIMMU BORGIR – ‘Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia’
• THERION – ‘Leviathan’
• FEAR FACTORY – ‘Recoded’

What we have there are three albums, all released on 28 October, which between them call to mind the old wedding adage of something old, something new, something remixed, and... OK, so maybe I didn’t think that one through, but there’s no denying that all three releases are straight from the top drawer.


The remix is storming FEAR FACTORY’s ‘Recoded’. Dino Cazares, Burton C. Bell and Raymond Herrera are no strangers to having their material remixed by outside collaborators and have been doing this to whole albums since they lobbed 1995’s ‘Demanufacture’ into the blender and out popped ‘Remanufacture’ a couple of years later. ‘Recoded’ is a spin on last year’s ‘Aggression Continuum’ album, with the likes of Front Line Assembly’s Rhys Fulber (who’s been collaborating with Fear Factory since their ‘Fear Is The Mindkiller’ remix EP back in 1993) and Zardonic – Venezuelan keyboard player and DJ Federico Augusto Ágreda Álvarez – taking the lion’s share of the material and reworking it in their own image. OK, so such projects are a bit Marmite – if you don’t like pugilistic re-workings with a heavy dance beat this album’s not going to change your mind – but it’s clever, it’s electrifying, and it’s as heavy as a bucket of whales.

Video clip: ‘Disobey’ –


The ‘old’ in the marital maxim is a re-issue of DIMMU BORGIR’s radical 2001 ‘Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia’ album. The original release has now been fleshed out as a 3CD set with the addition of the two Japanese bonus tracks (‘Devil’s Path’, and the Norwegians’ take on Twisted Sister’s anthemic ‘Burn In Hell’) as well as a third disc entitled ‘Dust Of Cold Memories’ featuring demos, rehearsals and pre-production versions of the songs. Dimmu Borgir’s fifth album – their first to feature a full orchestra rather than keyboard orchestration – should require no introduction, but this version has been remixed and remastered, and although everyone seems to say that these days there is quite an obvious difference at times: how hardcore fans will respond to what they may view as sacrilegious skulduggery remains to be seen, but as a stand-alone album the ‘new’ version is sounds as exciting and ground-breaking now as it did twenty-plus years ago.

Video clips:
Blessings Upon The Throne Of Tyranny (remixed and remastered) –
‘Hybrid Stigmata – The Apostacy’ (remixed and remastered) –


Which just leaves THERION’s ‘Leviathan II’ as the wholly new release. As the title implies though, the band’s eighteenth studio album takes on pretty much where January 2021’s ‘Leviathan’ left off, and indeed next year should see the final part of the planned trilogy. As with its predecessor ‘Leviathan II’ sees the founder member Christofer Johnsson [pictured at the top of the page at ProgPower UK 2006] helming his enigmatic band through waters not dissimilar to the triumphant days of ‘Theli’ and ‘Sirius B’, with choirs, orchestration and evocative vocal performances forming the backbone of an impressive and beautifully executed body of work. Heavy when the mood requires it but never for the sake of it, the album flows majestically, and the haunting ‘Alchemy Of The Soul’ and much-trailered ‘Pazuzu’ (a clutch of impressive video clips have helped raise the album’s profile) are just two of the jewels in an opulent crown. When the critics tally up their end-of-year Top 20s ‘Leviathan II’ must surely be right up there.

Video clips:
‘Marijin Min Nar’ –
‘Pazuzu’ –
‘Litany Of The Fallen’ –

© John Tucker Oct 2022