Dimmu Borgir - Official Website - Interview

For All Tid

Norway Country of Origin: Norway

For All Tid
Send eMail
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 1994
Genre: Black, Melodic, Orchestral, Symphonic
1. Det Nye Riket
2. Under Korpens Vinger
3. Over Bleknede Blaner Til Dommedag
4. Stien
5. Glittertind
6. For All Tid
7. Hunnerkongens Sorgsvarte Ferd Over Steppene
8. Raabjorn Speiler Draugheimens Skodde
9. Den Gjemte Sannhets Hersker

Review by Jeger on July 4, 2024.

Before its artists realized that common people are dazzled by the grandeur of symphonic metal, symphonic black metal was a much more down-to-earth form of BM. Borgir weren’t always creating music to soundtrack the conquering of interstellar space. Long ago, when the sub-genre was in its developmental phase, they were creating records like ‘95’s “For All Tid”that - much like “Nokturnal Mortum’s celebrated “Goat Horns” - are in fact symphonic black metal albums, but artful and grounded, unlike the abomination that the sub-genre has become. Septicflesh? Present day Borgir? Hard pass… 

“For All Tid” sounds like a real heartfelt black metal album that was created with fiery passion as opposed to the soulless “Death Cult Armageddon”. There are parts where the symphonic elements are stripped away completely; allowing for only the guitars and the drums to be appreciated. And even the symphonically overlain parts are done tastefully as if not to take too much away from the gorgeous black metal experience that lies just underneath. “Under korpens vinger” - man, Borgir had this whole BM thing down pact: the wretched vocals, the myriad of varying riffing patterns, the entrancing clean guitar arrangements and the just right atmosphere. Majestic, almost theatrical chanting vocals like some Sagelike enchanter crying out his spells in the night atop a snow capped bluff overlooking a Norse village, frigid winds, swords, horses, ale and that whole Braveheart vibe. Beautiful stuff. All the atmosphere black metal ever needed… 

The titular track creeps along in mellow hypnotic fashion - a subtle Mayhem - “Life Eternal” sort of whimsicality to this one where playful bass lines intertwine through captivating guitar parts and martial rhythms. Are we sure this is symphonic black metal? Feels atmospheric to me. Could pass for either and it comes down to the ethereal quality of the keyboards and the airy tonality of the guitars. It’s all so light and so crystalline as opposed to the bold grandiosity of typical, or should I say modern day symphonic BM where every album feels more like the soundtrack to some box office smash vampire flick as opposed to this - the quintessential, and most importantly, the true and classic symphonic black metal experience… 

There needs to be more of this action right now. These symphonic black metal bands are out of control. “My symphonic black metal band is more epic than yours!” It’s all so manufactured and devoid of anything artistically redeemable. Entertainment like a Michael Bay movie with lots of car crashes and helicopter explosions… But “For All Tid”? Quality black metal of the nostalgic variety - a brilliant balance of olde Norse swagger and elegant symphonic/atmospheric allure, without the Cenobite costumes… 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10


Review by Felix on July 4, 2024.

I confess: sometimes I hate Markus Staiger, the boss of Nuclear Blast, because he is giving a platform for a lot of commercial, soulless or pompous bands that have nothing to do with my understanding of metal. But I must also say that I admire his capability to see the potential of talented newcomers instinctively. From my point of view, "For all tid" does not show many signs which indicate the later development of Dimmu Borgir - and the same goes for "Stormblåst", at least to a certain extent. Anyway, the further career of the band is well known.

"For all tid" is stuffed with melancholic, woeful and rather slow-moving black metal. Fairly orchestral background choirs emphasize the sluggish appearance of songs. In rare cases, clear (guest) vocals want to add an heroic touch, for example during the third track. But this intention is doomed to failure, because the here presented whining sounds gruesome, completely dissonant and unbearable. Anyway, despite such flaws, Dimmu's debut cannot be blamed for being a totally lousy work. I admit that the band appears a little bit like the lame brothers of early Gehenna. The atmosphere of "First Spell" is almost omnipresent on "For all tid" and the dominant role of the keyboards does not make my heart beat faster. Nevertheless, Dimmu Borgir offer an authentic album and there is no doubting the sincerity and integrity of the band members, at least at this early stage of their career.

The songwriter have a fine instinct for effective melodies and this feature is an advantage of the album. In their best moments, the songs create an aura which matches the cover artwork. A soft wind of desperation blows through the speakers and the full-length mirrors the early spirit of the second wave of black metal, although it is "only" the rather melodic niche of this movement. Compositions like "Hunnerkongens sorgsvarte ferd over steppene" or "Raabjørn speiler draugheimens skodde" achieve a more than solid level. They are equipped with fairly sophisticated structures, do not lack of diversity and possess a certain currishness. But sadly, too many tracks are too harmless to leave an impact. As indicated above, the keyboards have too much room. For example, the restrained opener, which is free from electric guitars, does not kick off the album in a promising manner. The overall impression gets better as the guitars set in, nevertheless, raw and relentless attacks do not show up. Especially the title track fails to offer a suitable degree of heaviness and power. The same goes for the production. Neither the guitars nor the drums impress with a punchy sound.

After considering all the advantages and disadvantages, "For all tid" is a very mediocre work. The bonus songs "Inn i evighetens mørke (Part I and II)" are acceptable, but they cannot increase the quality level of the album in a significant manner. I still wonder how Staiger was able to identify the commercial potential of Dimmu Borgir.

Rating: 5.2 out of 10


Review by Michael on June 1, 2001.

This is an interesting one. It came very early in their career, being Dimmu Borgir’s first full-length release. And to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what to make of it... but that may be just because this is the only album that is completely in their native tongue of Norweigen and I don’t understand a fucking word!!!!

One thing I definitely like is the intro-first track. It sounds like it has been done on a cheap Casio keyboard, but with the classic lightning effect to begin it, then the smooth go-to-sleep-my-little-baby type synth keys it is very effective and will suck you into a deep trance. I found myself again and again starring blankly into space and feeling very mellow indeed after this track. The spoken word is also effective, I think even more so because I have no idea what Shagrath is talking about and I find myself imagining my own meanings. Instantly you can tell this is a low-budget recording. The drums lack clarity and the guitars/bass lack bottom end and depth. All drums on this album were played by Shagrath himself so don’t expect the double-kick and drum fill prowess of Tjodalv. But in defence of Shagrath as a drummer, they are solid, simple beats that do work to create a good backbone for the rhythm section which, unfortunately sounds like the bass and the guitar(s) were played through a small transistor practice-amp which is only capable of mid-range fuzz with no bottom end to be found at all. The guitar lines themselves are ok... but there is certainly nothing that stood out to me. Only simple 4-bar, 4 Chord rock riffs played as fast as their hands would go, but as in most Black Metal the familiar guitar-following-synth is there which sweetens things somewhat. Stian did very well as these lines are very catchy and easy on the ears and go a long way to make up for the poor sounding rhythm section. Now we come to my major issue with this album... the vocals! The gutteral throat-scraping vocals well known to Dimmu Borgir fans are there (with maybe just a touch too much reverb at times) which is great, but some clean vocals have been attempted here, mainly in Track 3 and I’m sorry Shagrath... but what were you thinking? Recent Dimmu Borgir releases have some fantastic clean vocals that I am a huge fan of, but I’m afraid something is very wrong with these puppies!!!!! They sound like a nasty cross between German Folk Singing and a (much thinner and more evil) Pavarotti!!!! Lets just put it down to experience shall we!

Favourite Track? ‘For all Tid’ ...it’s the only track I found on this CD that had any real contrast and variation.

Bottom Line: This is a pretty good debut for a now very popular and well know Black Metal band. But in comparison to some of the other Nordic metal bands within the genre at the same time it's perhaps a little weak.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10