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Borknagar - The Archaic Course CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.35 | 26 ratings

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4 stars The Archaic Course is the third studio album from experimental black/ death metal band Borknagar. I canīt say Iīve been terribly impressed with their first two pretty simple yet melodic black metal albums but I sense a change in direction on The Archaic Course and Iīm beginning to recognise the great experimental metal band that made Epic. Epic was my introduction to Borknagar and allthough Borknagar will never be my favorite experimental metal band they sure made a great album in Epic.

The Archaic Course is different from its predecessors ( Borknagar and The Olden Domain) because Borknagar has chosen to incorporate a classical symphonic element into their extreme metal sound. There are also lots of ethnic scandinavian folk elements in the music. Note that the music never turns into folk metal though. The Archaic Course is not a very extreme metal album even though new vocalist I.C.S. Vortex does growl/ rasp a lot there are lots of beautiful clean singing too. Fans of Green Carnation who can endure growling vocals should really give The Archaic Course a chance ( Start with Winter Millenium). I think the mood is very similar to the mood on the first couple of albums from Green Carnation. But thatīs the atmosphere Iīm talking about because Borknagar does play a more heavy kind of metal than Green Carnation. The songs are generally mid-paced and quite majestic with some pretty traditional heavy metal riffing. Nothing out of the ordinary in that department, but unlike other metal albums with average guitar riffs The Archaic Course wins because of itīs great atmosphere and Iīm not left wondering where the great riffs were. Everything serves a purpose on this album.

The musicianship is great. Borknagar were always some of the better musicians on the Norwegian black metal scene or maybe thatīs just because they never played sloppy on purpose like many of their contemporaries did?.

The production is quite enjoyable really. The sound is pretty raw and thereby fits the music, but you can hear everything thatīs happening and as far as black metal productions go this oneīs a pearl.

I wasnīt expecting The Archaic Course to be such an enjoyable album. Itīs not very long ago I reviewed The Olden Domain and I thought to myself. My God there are still three albums to go before I can review Epic ( thatīs the rules I set for myself. Always review bands from the start of their career going forward to get the best impression of their development). That way of thinking has changed dramatically after listening to The Archaic Course and Iīm now looking forward to reviewing both Quintessence and Empiricism ( well I know that one a bit. I took a sneak peak). The Archaic Course lies somewhere between a 3 and a 4 star rating but since Iīm a bit happily surprised right now Iīll be nice and give it a 4.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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