Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Why didn't they call this one "Epic" instead?
Bill Lockhart | West Chester, PA United States | 03/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know about all the other Borknagar fans out there, but doesn't anyone else find this album to be a bit more epic then their new cd titled "Epic"? Oh well.... enough of my complaining about what this band of geniuses chose to do.
First of all, I am so glad there is a band that I can cherish and love and listen to I.C.S Vortex's without hearing the cheesy satanicness of it.... cough... Dimmu Borgir... cough. In many ways, I like Vortex's vocals beter when he's with Dimmu Borgir, however, when he was with Borknagar, Vortex was in his young prime as an operatic viking vocalist. And he certainly shows that he is one of the best, and it's right here on this album. Starting of with "Oceans Rise", Borknagar throws a whirlwind of melodic black metal mized with avantgarde influences. The acoustic ending of this song is pure heaven, and Vortex's clean vocals shine on this one. Next is "Universal", and this song also showcases Vortex's clean vocals completely. The music is also very epic sounding, as if your ascending up a mountain at the speed of light.... and I don't know why I chose that example, perhaps the soaring chorus? Anyway, this song is awesome, and one of the best. Next is the "Witching Hour", a nice little song, complete with Vortex's clean vocals again, and a funny vocal soar at about 25 seconds into the song. Near the middle and end of this song it almost begins to sound like a pirate song. I guess from a norwegians point of view those would be vikings huh. Again, a good epic song. The next three songs I will tell you are rather similar, not that this is a bad thing, they almost sound like a trio put in a row. Beginning with "The Black Token", another good song, feautring Vortex's growling vocals. The next track is a pretty epic one, "Nocturnal Vision" is alos one of my favorites. Maybe I have a thing for epic music? I'd say so. Onto "Ad Noctum" we have another song where Vortex growls and sings, and this song also sounds quite like a pirate song, or in a norwegian's case... "viking". Maybe I should just start calling this stuff "Viking metal" instead of confusing everyone with the pirate thing. Onto the last real song on the cd, we reach "Winter Millenium", and this song features one of the most epic choruses I have ever heard on an album. It is also my favorite song on the cd, but apparently, not everyone elses judging by the reviews on amazon. Oh well, that's ok, everyones got their own opinions right? The next song is a little instrumental with ambient sounds and some whispering in the backround. What this song is for? I have no idea, but it is a good way to end an album such as this one we have just listened to. "Fields of Long gone presence" ends this cd with a nice touch.
Overall, this is a great album by Borknagar, and probably my favorite. I would definitely suggest every fan of Avantgarde metal or Viking metal buy this one."
True Epic Metal!
p_drl | 03/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Borknagar seem to change with every album. Albums such as "The Archaic Course" express the band's love of nature, Norwegian landscapes, and everything to do with Mother Earth and Father Time, while "Quintessence" expresses the band's deep interest in science, the creation of the universe, and a slight hint of the paranormal. I take more of a liking to this album due to its relaxed atmosphere, beautifully descriptive lyrics, and underlying keys.
I.C.S. Vortex, now of Dimmu Borgir, served as vocalist on this album. He has a great range for a metal vocalist, and churns out some beautiful double-layered harmonies behind the microphone. His voice is genuine and emotional, and his screams suit the aggressive parts perfectly. Oystein G. Brun, the guitarist, composes all Borknagar songs and lyrics, and does it gracefully. The song structures meander in a nonlinear strcuture, but hold the listener's attention. There are a lot of lush acoustic guitars here accenting the melodic electric, creating a true Viking mood, like that of the listener among large rivers, vast mountains. The atmosphere projected is very majestic, but not in an Emperor kind of way. (Well, maybe, in a "In the Nightside Eclipse" way...)The guitars weave entrancing but simple melodies with a "wall of sound" type of production.
Grimm (RIP) of Gorgoroth sits behind the drum throne here. He punds out basic rhythms, but has a stash of inventive fills and intricacies, as well as some pounding double bass on "Ad Noctum", which features some crazy organ work.
1. Oceans Rise- The album opens up with a mid-tempo beat with layered guitars, which soon give way to stunning acoustics and one of the best clean vocal performances on here. A strong song, and a fan favorite. One of my favorites here. 5/5
2. Universal- A bit slower, and features some amazing harmonies and a supreme clean vocal performance by Vortex. The chorus, if that is the thing to call it, is very catchy with its sublime keys and pounding rhythm. Another great song. 5/5
3. Witching Hour- Much like the previous two tracks. Has some great lyrics, and a somber yet majestic mood permeates the song up until the anthemic chorus. The drumwork here is really good as well near the middle. The keyboards serve as a great atmospheric backdrop to the harsh guitars. This song is alright, but nothing too memorable. 4/5
4. The Black Token- The pace picks up here with Vortex doing the black metal rasp for a change. This song is more intense than the other songs, and features some speedy drumwork backed by strange sci-fi synths. Again, nothing overly memorable, but the middle part is really good with its vocal approach. 4/5
5. Nocturnal Vision- Ripping double bass leads the high-pitched synths and bombastic melody-driven guitars. The lyrics may raise a few eyebrows with their obscurity, but this song is top-notch, and has some great vocals. 5/5
6. Ad Noctum- Amazing organs, and a faster tempo and aggressive vocals for a change. Battering drumwork, and another standout. 5/5
7. The Winter Millenium- My absolute favorite on this album. Features some AMAZING clean vocals, and an unbeatable atmosphere filled with majesty and sorrow. Truly amazing, check out this song at all costs. 5/5
8. Fields of Long Gone Presence- A suiting outro with creeping synths and rain effects. A but useless, but good. 3/5
My only complaint about this album is the length, or lack thereof. It only clocks in at a little under 40 minutes, which is a shame, because it seems like there's more where this came from. I would reccommend this to fans of Viking metal or avant-garde. Buy this along with Bathory's "Twilight of the Gods" or "Hammerheart", as well as Emperor's "Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk". Also check out Borknagar's other works, they are just as good! I highly reccommend this album!