Extreme Norway - Dimmu Borgir

by Ben Higgins

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  • Welcome to my new lesson!

    This time we turn our attention to one of Norway's finest extreme metal bands - Dimmu Borgir.

    "Dimmu Borgir is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means "dark cities" or "dark castles/fortresses" in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse. The band has been through numerous lineup changes over the years; guitarist Silenoz and vocalist Shagrath are the only founding members remaining." - Wikipedia


    Dimmu Borgir are known for their bombastic, symphonic approach to black metal. Earlier records maintained a folky influence amongst their metallic onslaught and keyboards have always played a prevalent part in their music. As they have progressed over the years, the synth element has been augmented with real orchestra, giving their music a dramatic soundtrack quality.

    Blastbeats feature heavily in Dimmu Borgir's music, as does tremolo picked single notes on the guitar. This can be difficult to the newcomer as it requires stamina and an accurate ear to maintain the correct rhythm.

    Minor tonalities are predominant and it is common to hear minor chords moved a semitone either side, which you can hear towards the end of this lesson. Unlike many black metal 'purists', Dimmu's music is not simplistic or lo-fi. The riffing can be just as technical as any other modern metal band.

    This lesson will work on:

    - Playing over blast beats
    - Alternate picking
    - Stamina
    - Palm muting

    It's time to add some Norwegian ice to your playing so grab your guitar and get to it!

    Tuning: E A D G B E - Standard Tuning

    Time Sig: 12/8

    Tempo: 180 bpm

    Gear: Ibanez RG7421, Nick Crow 8505 Amp Plugin, Guitar Suite Tube Screamer, Poulin LeCab 2.
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