Dimmu Borgir was originally founded as a melodic black metal band in 1993 by Shagrath, Silenoz, and Tjodalv. The band released an EP in 1994 entitled Inn I Evighetens Mørke (in English:"Into The Darkness of Eternity"). This short EP sold out within weeks, and the band followed up with the 1994 full length album For All Tid. This album featured musical contributions by members of Dødheimsgard and Ved Buens Ende. Interestingly enough, Shagrath played drums with Tjodalv on guitar and Erkekjetter (translating "arch heretic") Silenoz covering vocals. This lineup changed before the release of Stormblåst (translates to "Storm Blown") on Cacophonous Records in 1996. Stormblåst received high praise from many melodic black metal fans, and is often regarded as a highlight of the band's career. It is also the last album which features all lyrics written and sung in Norwegian.
After Stormblåst, Dimmu Borgir's career took a sharp turn. Keyboardist Stian Aarstad left the band due to his obligation to serve in the Norwegian army, thus he was not able to participate in the 1996 recording of Devil's Path. That period was also marked by the leave of their bassist Brynjard Tristan and the arrival of Nagash. Stian Aarstad returned for the recording of 1997's Enthrone Darkness Triumphant. On the tour to support the album he had trouble attending rehearsals and tour dates, and he was fired from the band. Enthrone Darkness Triumphant was a huge success for the band, and it was their first release signed to the famous German record label Nuclear Blast. It was recorded in the Abyss Studios, owned by Hypocrisy's mainman Peter Tägtgren.
After the tour for Enthrone Darkness Triumphant the band recruited new members Mustis on keyboards and Astennu on second guitar so that Shagrath could concentrate on vocals.
Dimmu Borgir's following full-length albums Spiritual Black Dimensions in 1999, the first album with clean vocals from Vortex and the last album with Nagash, and 2001's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia both met critical acclaim. Some fans accused the band of "selling out" due to the mass audiences which the albums reached.
Despite regular video play on MTV2 and Fuse TV that their follow-up album would receive, the band has stated that they are not "commercially-oriented," and instead, they simply wish to spread their message to more people. In 2003, Dimmu Borgir used their major record label financial leverage to create a monumental album titled Death Cult Armageddon. Sections of the album were recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra to enhance the classical arrangements which have always augmented the band's style.
In 2005, the band did a complete re-recording of the Stormblåst album, featuring Hellhammer of Mayhem fame as the session drummer.
Dimmu Borgir's new album, In Sorte Diaboli, was released April 24, 2007. There will also be a special edition version of the album in a boxed case with DVD, with backwards lyrics and a mirror included. The album artwork was released on February 14, 2007 on a promotional webpage for the album . With the release of this album, Dimmu Borgir became the first black metal band with a number one album on the top list. 
Currently, the band is in the middle of the Invaluable Darkness Tour with Unearth, Devildriver, and Kataklysm. Dimmu Borgir played the 2007 Download Festival on June 10 and W:O:A 2007 Fastival in Germany