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Borknagar - Empiricism CD (album) cover

EMPIRICISM

Borknagar

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.16 | 25 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

topofsm
2 stars Empiricism is not a bad album, in fact it is rather interesting in terms of sound. However, the album does get rather same-y over time and sometimes one will wonder if he is hearing the same song several times. And despite it being an extreme metal album, the clean vocals are far more prominent than the black metal screams. The vocals and the ever-present synthesizers combine to make a sound that sometimes can sound a bit cheesy. In summation, the sounds on this album are to Black metal as the band Rhapsody is to regular metal: Intelligent, but sometimes too over-melodic and a questionable entry into the respective genre.

That being said, most of the music on this progressive black metal album is pretty enjoyable. The black metal vocals are not too difficult to overcome for the uninitiated, and definetely aren't the primary focus of the music. The clean male vocals are probably the focus, but those may be somewhat difficult to get used to, as they do go a bit over the top and sometimes sound as if the band is trying to come up with a catchy hook rather than focus on a masterful composition. The synthesizer is also worth noting, as all through the album there is background strings, woodwinds, choirs, and piano, adding to a pretty cool atmosphere.

Standout tracks include the opener "The Genuine Pulse", a fast paced song with lots of double bass and a catchy chorus. Later in the album is "Matter and Motion", a curious piano interlude with an ominous ripping sound in the background, showing the more progressive side of Borknagar. "Soul Sphere" also has a great catchy chorus and great singing and is a good one to pay attention to. "The Stellar Dome" is a slow paced song with excellent synthesized strings adding to the more haunting side of the album. The closer "The View of Everlast" is also an excellent ballad-esque track.

This isn't a terrrible album, it's an enjoyable one, especially to those more familiar with prog metal. However, the tracks do tend to sound the same and the overall sound can get a bit cheesy, and everything does have a tendency to become more and more generic. Appreciators of prog and metal should enjoy it.

topofsm | 2/5 |

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