Borknagar Borknagar
© Asgeir Mickelson


 

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    Vintersorg - Chants
    Øystein G. Brun - Guitare
    Lars A. Nedland - Claviers
    Asgeir Mickelson - Basse & Batterie
 
En deux (ou trois) mots
  • Genre(s): Viking Black Athmosphérique
  • Label: Century Media
Norway’s extraordinary outfit Borknagar continue their avant-garde quest of exploring the boundaries and depths within extreme, post-black metal sounds with their majestic sixth full-length album, symbolically entitled “Epic”.

Indeed, Borknagar have never been a very conventional gathering of musicians but instead rather a unity of musical class and artistic powers that has created a solid, stylistically reliable path of their own. The band’s mastermind and guitarist Øystein G. Brun probably never pictured himself going through so many challenges and line-up changes throughout the turn of the years after starting out in 1995.

From Ulver- and Arcturus-vocalist Garm, who sang on their first two albums, moving to Simen Hestnæs a.k.a. ICS Vortex (now bassist and backing vocalist for Dimmu Borgir) for the both following albums, the vocalist spot is now inherited by Swedish Vintersorg (from the bands Vintersorg and Otyg) and yet the approach and vision to be found in Borknagar’s compositions has never suffered in quality nor has it undergone massive waves of alteration. Borknagar has and will always be about continuation in exploring and therefore growth.

After parting ways with longtime guitar-partner Jens F. Ryland and also bassist Tyr, Borknagar’s current quartet incarnation features Brun, Vintersorg alongside the gifted musicians Lars A. Nedland (on Synth/Organ and backing vocals, also member of Solefald) and Asgeir Mickelson (also in Spiral Architect, Vintersorg and touring stand-in drummer for Testament on their 2003 European tour), who not only impressively handled drums on “Epic” but also took over the duties of recordings for the bass tracks in the light of the vacant spot.

Ever since the release of their previous album “Empiricism”, the band performed a handful of selected gigs at festival events (including Wacken and Party-San in Germany and Summer Rocks in Hungary) but unfortunately went through a string of unlucky cancellations (European tour with Finntroll as well as some more festivals) due to technical reasons and consequently they decided to skip further live activities to invest their creativity in writing the next album.

And “Epic” proves this decision to be a clever move as Borknagar never sounded more confident, more diverse, more innovative, yet so much themselves after all. From the monumental opening track “Future Reminiscence” to the crafty “Traveller”, the furious “Resonance”, the atmospheric “Relate [Dialogue]”, the extravagant “The Inner Ocean Hypothesis” until the bombastic ending with “The Wonder”, this album has a hard to describe beauty in thorns.

Børge Finstad, who already worked with the band on “Empiricism” and also brought power to productions of bands like Mayhem, Winds, Arcturus or Extol, has additionally manage to capture the band’s sonic brilliance at its best at his Toproom Studio in
 
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