Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Another acoustic set
D. A. Fortney | Cleveland, Ohio | 11/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And yet another Metal band has released an acoustic CD. I love Black Metal, and many of these side projects are really amazing and entertaining. Like Green Carnation (Acoustic Verses) before them, Borknager have created something awesomely beautiful with their new CD: Origin. Opeth's Damnation is also one of the best "soft" CD's by a brutal band. If you know who Borknager is, and if you like all kinds of music. Check this CD out. It is a refreshing change from Metal, but not boring or uninspired."
Amazing, brilliant, and unexpected
P. Binh | 12/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not a fan of Borknagar, although I respect their talent and their music even though their material never "did it" for me. However this all-acoustic album is an exception.
The material is heavily influenced by classical music with a bit of kind of Nordic sounding folk elements mixed in as well. The vocals are filled with emotion and passion, although they probably should have been louder in the final mix (or perhaps they should have a singer with more power and depth in his voice). Some of the speaking gets lost beneath the music at times. There is very light use of keyboards as well, but typically they copy the vocal lines and therefore do not play in independent role.
The guitars have a very airy, light sound to them and they play the dominant role in the album's overall sound. This makes their acoustic work a lot different than that of, say, Opeth or In Flames, whose acoustic guitars have a very rich, earthy sound. Whether Borknagar fans will like this, I can't say. But I would definitely buy it."
Not just another acoustic set
Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 12/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've always thought that the real test of a band's songwriting - especially a metal band's - was to strip the music down to an acoustic level and see how well it holds up. If you look at a band like Alice in Chains (they may be lumped into the whole grunge movement, but there's no denying their heaviness) on their Unplugged album, you can clearly see that their songs hold up just fine without pummeling guitars and distortion. On the metal side, Opeth took this a step further with their Damnation album, which wasn't technically an acoustic release, but had a mellow nature that was pretty far removed from their more extreme work (even though it was bleak enough to make you want to kill yourself). Now we have the Norwegian black metal band Borknagar pushing the envelope yet again with Origin, an album of all new material performed in an entirely acoustic manner.
I had high hopes for this album, and Borknagar did not disappoint. Even without blastbeats, electric guitars and death vocals, Origin is a very powerful album. It's more than just the guys sitting around strumming acoustic guitars. The use of flutes and other traditional instruments gives Origin an earthy, classical feel that takes you back to an age of bards and ballads. I'm trying to find a way to describe it without sounding like some renaissance faire dork, but hopefully you get the idea. You definitely get a sense of Vintersorg's hand at work with the songs' focus on nature and humanity, not to mention his unique vocal style. These are fantastic songs, and despite the acoustic presentation they are definitely Borknagar-style songs. Had they "plugged in" and hired a backing orchestra this would have been an epic metal album. I'm glad they didn't though, as Origin is completely memorable as-is, and serves as a testimony to the talent and creativity that Borknagar offers.
I highly recommend this album to open-minded metal fans, especially those into bands like Green Carnation, Opeth, and Winds. If you're already a fan of Borkanagar, Vintersorg, and/or Cronian, you don't need me to tell you to pick this one up.