Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR are putting the finishing touches on their long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s “Abrahadabra” album for a late 2017 release via Nuclear Blast. Guitarist Sven Atle Kopperud (a.k.a. Silenoz) told Metal Wani about the progress of the recording sessions for the band’s new disc: “Well, right now I’m calling from the studio in Sweden, and we’re in the mixing stages, the last, final stages of the mixing of the album. So that’s where we’re at at the moment… We are attacking it now with surgical knives. And the small — extremely small — microscopic stuff that we feel is necessary to put the last pieces on the album, the last touches.”

According to Silenoz, DIMMU BORGIR has decided not to use a live orchestra during the making of the band’s new album, “but the orchestral parts on the album are, of course, built up by real orchestra sounds,” he explained. “So I think this album is even sounding more orchestral in the orchestral parts than the previous album. So it hasn’t lost anything from that aspect than the previous album.”

The guitarist also spoke about the overall musical direction of the new DIMMU BORGIR material, saying: “To me, it’s, of course, a bit difficult to analyze at the moment, and it probably will be for the next couple of years anyway. But it’s definitely a diverse, very much varied-sounding album. Every song stands perfectly on its own feet and it offers so much stuff. There’s tons of layers as usual, but more controlled, maybe. So I can’t wait for the people and the fans that have been waiting for so many years and also, of course, complaining with good reasons. But I believe that it’s much better for us to do it in our own tempo, and you can’t force art anyway, so that’s just how it is.”

Silenoz couldn’t provide a tentative release date for the new DIMMU BORGIR album but said that the plan is to definitely get it out this year. “We’ve been kind of under the radar and out of the so-called business for a few years now, so we don’t really have a total overview of how it works, ’cause it changes maybe from month to month… I don’t know,” he explained. “We just wanna try and make this release as important as it can [be]. It needs a lot of preparation in the promotion department. Once we have done the mastering and the cover artwork and the videos and all that stuff, then the next part of the work — I wouldn’t call it work even — but the next part of the scheduling is, of course, the world touring.”

Asked if DIMMU BORGIR felt pressure following up an album as acclaimed as “Abrahadabra”, Silenoz said: “It might sound cocky, but I feel that we are really confident about what we have done so far, and I know it’s the best we can do at this point in our career. With that said, people are probably gonna either hate it or love it, and that’s fine. I don’t expect people to not have any issues about it, whether it’s positive or negative, and that’s how it’s always been with this band, and that’s fine with me. I just know that we have done our part, our best thing we can do at this point, so with that, we feel pretty confident, yeah.”

Regarding whether DIMMU BORGIR was inspired by its earlier releases while making the new LP, Silenoz said: “It’s hard to say if we draw influences from our previous albums, but I guess we do things in a certain way and we have our own framework, so to speak, which we work within. Of course, we try and expand that as much as we can, but it has to come naturally. If you force stuff, that’s not gonna work. But I think it’s been a total natural evolution, and that’s probably a clichéd thing to say as well, but that’s just how it feels. It just feels this is what we do at this point in our career.”

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.