Putting the nail in the coffin for heavy metal shows at The House of Blues this year, the highly anticipated Darkness Reborn Tour 2010 was announced. Featuring Norwegian metal bands Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Blood Red Throne, and Dawn of Ashes, this was sure to be an ear-bleeding, fully charged show. When I first discovered European black metal in the late 1990s, Dimmu Borgir was a quick favorite, and was truly thrilled by the opportunity to see them live.
Arriving as Enslaved took the stage, I was instantly impressed by the intensity of their energetic loud music. Seeming to have a rather large fan base within the crowd, as they grinded out their fast songs, a sea of flying hair headbanged in unison. Within just a few tracks, the crowd was already slamming and getting rowdy, raising the pulse of everyone in the house. Thanking the fans, Enslaved took a bow and humbly cleared the stage.
When the lights came up, Xibir played while the fans cheered, as the blue light revealed a large stage setup. Dimmu Borgir, six members in total, walked to their instruments, all sporting face paint, dressed in sand-blasted armored coats, fitted only for worthy metal gods... it was perfect. The house roared with cheers, fists were thrown, and men rushed to the center of the floor as security futilely tried to stop pits from breaking out. Announcing this was the first time they had been back to Las Vegas in two years, Dimmu only encouraged the audiences’ behavior, “Let me see those horns!”
Dimmu Borgir assaulted the audience not only with their incredibly loud music but also with the strobe lights timed perfectly to the speedy double bass drums. Angelic synth/keys tied the thumping drums, dual guitars, rattling bass, and growled lyrics all together in perfect synchronicity. It was a non-stop metal onslaught for over an hour, and Dimmu pulled it off effortlessly. Setlist included Spellbound (By the Devil), The Chosen Legacy, IndoctriNation, Dimmu Borgir, Gateways, Chess With the Abyss, Born Treacherous, A Jewel Traced Through Coal, The Blazing Monoliths of Defiance, and Vredesbyrd.
Returning on stage to a shouting crowd, lead singer Silenoz yelled, “You guys tired or are you ready to hear more Norwegian black metal hardcore!?" Exhausted fans mustered up a deserving response and were treated to an extended encore, including: The Serpentine Offering, Puritania, Progenies of the Great Apocalypse, Mourning Palace, exiting with Perfection Or Vanity. Each left individually, bowing and graciously thanking the audience and die-hard fans. Dimmu Borgir was solid through and through, giving fans everything they could have wanted. Next time their tour runs through, lace up your black boots and see what you’ve been missing.