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Borknagar - Epic CD (album) cover

EPIC

Borknagar

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.53 | 28 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

matti_sillanmaki
4 stars **** - A small masterpiece of extreme progressive metal!

So this is where Norwegian metallists Borknagar have come through their colourful career - from being a furious black metal band to a full-blown progressive metal group with a very rich and multi-layered sound! The music on this album is of course very heavy, that's the one thing Borknagar has never abandonned - but it's also very symphonic.

The songs on "Epic" vary quite a bit; some are frantic metal hammering with blastbeat drumming and aggressive growling, whereas some are peaceful and concentrate more on clean vocals and beautiful melodies. Actually most of the tracks are a blend between these two styles; that's what makes the music so interesting. Vocalist Vintersorg makes a perfect job changing from his merciless growls and soothing cleans. There couldn't be a better vocalist for a band like Borknagar. Drummer Asgeir Mickelson bashes the cans as furiously as ever, but he's very technical and adjusts his drumming with the moods of the music flawlessly. Keyboardist Lars Nedland provides great layers of sounds, using Hammond organs and grand piano with the synthesizers and guitarist Øystein G. Brun is at the top of his career; both technically and regarding his compositional skills.

I won't go into too much detail but a few highlight tracks must always be mentioned. The opener "Future Reminiscence" is sheer brilliance; the change of moods and vocal styles it at it's best here. Both very heavy and beautiful mellow parts are in a perfect dialogue, all the time backed up with Nedland's keyboard wizardry. "Sealed Chambers of Electricity" is another top notch track. Here we can hear a flute as well and the Hammond organ is very audible. This goes to show that Brun is willing to experiment beneath the traditional heavy metal instrumentation. The guitar playing and drumming is as complex as ever. "The Weight of Wind" is an instrumental track, and it features Nedland playing the Grand piano in a very fine way. This is mostly a keyboard track, yet in the middle the guitar and the drums kick in to support the absolutely brilliant keyboard melodies.

I can say with all my heart that this is prog metal, and if anyone doubts this, I dare you to try this album and reconsider your views regarding this Norwegian band. For all progmetalheads this is essential stuff in my opinion. The composition, the instrumentation, the execution; splendid.

| 4/5 |

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