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Borknagar - Borknagar CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.10 | 34 ratings

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3 stars ***: Good, but non-essential.

The first, self-titled, Borknagar album is different from the rest of their albums, because it isn't prog yet, it's black metal. It does have synths, but they're not as audible as on the other albums, just on the background really. So anyone who likes black metal, should like this album also, because it has high growls, mushy guitars and ultra-fast drumming. There are also a few shorter and more mellow tracks that feature acoustic guitar and more synths, such as "Ved steingard" and "Tanker mot tind", which give some hint about their later musical offerings. From the heavy tracks, album opener "Vintervredets sjelesagn" and "Svartskogs gilde" are the highlights. I like the vocalists' growls, the surprisingly versatile drumming seems to be in the right place and the guitar riffs are very nice, even some melodies are recognizable, although the production is very garage-like, not as clear as it should be. Also the synths on the background create some atmosphere and bring an extra sound within all the smashing and bashing to make the music more interesting.

A word about the musicians. Borknagar is like a "supergroup" of Norwegian black-metallists. On this album the players include for example drummer Grim (Immortal and Gorgoroth), vocalist Garm (Ulver) and bassist Infernus (Gorgoroth) along with the founder of the band, guitarist Řystein G. Brun (from Molested). That's the main reason why I was so surprised that the band decided to take the path of prog music on their future albums.

Were this a metal site, I would rate this album 4 stars, but since this is a prog site, and there's not much prog on this album, I can not do that. So because the 4 star rating says "Excellent addition to any PROG music collection" , I will rate it 3 stars instead. I like the album very much, but overall I like black/death metal, and I know a lot of progheads don't. But if you do, highly recommended!

| 3/5 |


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