In spite of straying so far from its black metal roots as to almost seem a completely different band at times, Dimmu Borgir still packs a powerful punch on Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. New guitarist Galder (formerly of Old Man's Child) nicely infuses more traditional metallic mannerisms, but the addition of drummer Nicholas Barker (Cradle of Filth and Lock Up) is critical. His always-punishing percussive prowess allows the seamless melding of speedy black metal with considerably more orchestration, this time around provided by the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra itself, creating a cacophony of nefarious melodies atop gothic gloom. "Puritania" is indicative of something the band probably would never have tried even a few years ago, a stirring descant with a myriad of vocal styles seemingly coming from all directions. A minority of purists might see this as too much of a departure, a complaint that would have more merit if Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia wasn't as exquisite as it is diverse. The Japanese edition features a bonus CD with two tracks, including a cheeky cover of Twisted Sister's "Burn in Hell" and two videos.
AllMusic Review by Brian O'Neill