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Borknagar - The Olden Domain CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.38 | 41 ratings

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2 stars The Olden Domain is the second album from Norwegian melodic black metal band Borknager. Besides band leader and main composer Øystein G. Brun on guitars the band also have other very prolific Norwegian black metal musicians in the lineup. Garm from Ulver takes care of the vocals which includes his beautiful clean ones and his black metal rasp while Ivar Bjørnson from Enslaved plays synth.

The music on The Olden Domain is melodic black metal. Even though synth is a part of Borknagarīs sound I wouldnīt characterize their music as symphonic. At least not in the same way as bands like Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth. The music is rather primitive but not primitive like Mayhem or Darkthrone. Borknagar sits firmly between the raw primitive type black metal and the more symphonic approach to the genre on The Olden Domain.

The musicianship seems a bit sloppy in my ears and I especially have a distaste for the drumming from Grim ( I just love that name. It translates into the word ugly in my native Danish language. As the Danish and Norwegian languages are related itīs probably the same in Norwegian. Talk about having a stupid artist name) which I find annoying and flawed. But the rest of the performances are not that convincing either except for Garm who delivers his usual professional performance. Too bad the vocal lines are really awkward and not very memorable.

The production is a mix of lo-fi and studio production. Lets just say that I donīt like it. It annoys me.

This is one of those albums I had a really hard time getting through and in this case I listened to the album several times to make this review. Thankfully Borknagar has aged like good wine because the early efforts from the band are not worth my time. I like my black metal every other way than this hybrid style that doesnīt know if it wants to be primitive or symphonic. Itīs not a complete waste of time but The Olden Domain is not worth more than 2 stars in my book. This one is clearly only for the hardcore fans of the band. Donīt give up on Borknagar because you read this though as they have made good music later in their career. Let me recommend that you start with their album from 2004 called Epic instead. A high quality album IMO.

UMUR | 2/5 |


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