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Borknagar Epic album cover
3.65 | 40 ratings | 7 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Future Reminiscence (5:26)
2. Traveller (5:03)
3. Origin (4:58)
4. Sealed Chambers of Electricity (4:13)
5. The Weight of Wind (3:58)
6. Resonance (4:28)
7. Relate (4:29)
8. Cyclus (5:26)
9. Circled (4:46)
10. The Inner Ocean Hypothesis (5:12)
11. Quintessence (5:32)
12. The Wonder (6:48)

Total Time 60:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund / vocals, guitar (10,11)
- Řystein G. Brun / electric & acoustic guitars
- Lars Nedland / synth, Hammond, grand piano, backing vocals
- Asgeir Mickelson / drums, 5-string fretless bass, guitar (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Asgeir Mickelson

CD Century Media ‎- 77499-2 (2004, Europe)

LP Century Media ‎- 77499-1 (2004, Europe)

Thanks to Logos for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BORKNAGAR Epic Music

BORKNAGAR Epic ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BORKNAGAR Epic reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by OpethGuitarist
4 stars "I am rising as I am falling".

The best Borknagar release, combining the majestic leanings of symphonic prog with black metal, to create a moving and stimulating work of art. It is intelligent, wonderfully produced (which is in contrast to most black metal), and wonderful at creating tense atmospheres.

The album is fairly solid throughout, with little downfall in the material as we go from the beginning of the record to the end of it. The Weight of the Wind is perhaps my favorite, which sounds almost as a sinister take on the style of Anglagard, as the keys here are menacing. The Classical effects here are well done, and there's much in terms of variation, from the scathing vocals to mellow sections, to soaring melodies. Vintersorg's clean vocals are especially good, and really help to accentuate the music.

The compositions are well considered, inspiring, and the keys fit in brilliantly with the music. This is a wonderful record for those looking to explore the deep end of progressive metal as it has enough symphonic leanings to keep those interested who are not acquainted with the genre. I won't deny that their are a few weak spots, but the professionalism of the work and it's overall quality makes it a worthy part of a prog collection.

Review by FruMp
2 stars Progressive?, I don't really think so, sounds more like modern angsty metal to me.

What can I say, i was bitterly, bitterly disappointed by this, I had heard comparisons to bands like Ulver and it immediately piqued my interest being of the black metal persuasion and being included in the archives I thought something had to be good here. Alas it was not to be, what we have here are the angsty metalcore type vocals that plague modern metal, cheesy melodic singing set to a vaguely black metal background with some organ tacked on randomly at the end which doesn't fit at all.

If you're a prog metal fan first you may enjoy this, if you're an extreme metal fan more than a prog metal fan then you should probably steer clear as this really isn't for you.

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Borknagar can mean a lot of things: an alien race, an insect that eats trees, or a deviant sexual act. Apparently the name is just a name, as the band didn't wish to be tied down genre-wise by a title that adheres to strict categorization, which in a way gives them prog credentials before even hearing the music. Name your band Skullripper or Satan's Buttocks and you'll likely have a tougher time convincing potential fans that your brand of metal is intrinsically progressive, although Gorguts managed that feat. Borknagar's version of extreme metal doesn't shoot for off-kilter weirdness though; they play a rather melodic and easy-on-the-ears variety while maintaining enough aggression and speediness to easily hold on to their classification here.

The base of their music is symphonic black metal. There's the atonal goblin rasps, sections bolstered by blastbeats, tremolo riffs and plenty of keyboards to add extra layers to the mix. The mix itself seems to almost favor the keyboards by merely giving them an equal push to the front as the guitars sound-wise. But other aspects of the band give them a bit of identity separate from the numerous Emperor clones that began clogging metal sections of large and soon to be defunct record chain stores in the late 90s. By the time this album was released, that whole scene had mostly withered out, possibly due to the backlash involving a few bands of that ilk that became commercially successful by underground standards, but Borknagar stuck to their guns and evolved their sound somewhat with a strong hammond organ presence and an increasing majestic and far from 'grim' sounding chord sequences. Vintersorg's clean vocals continue to be used frequently, and why not since the guy can sing, and does so without resorting to falsettos, 'gruffiness' or a soft approach. The lyrics have next to nothing to do with typical morbid subject matter, focusing instead on the mysteries of life, the universe and everything. No mention of Douglas Adams though.

To be honest though, their style gets a bit tiresome after awhile with all the bombast and a production that's tight, clear but lacking in atmosphere. I actually prefer a couple of their early works just because they just felt more organic rather than clinical, but I could just be thinking this because I've heard enough bands with elements this album possesses that it doesn't strike a chord except on a few occasions. "The Inner Ocean Hypothesis" without a doubt remains memorable though thanks to the cool piano, drum and bass jazziness going on at times. Probably my favorite track off the album.

I can't fault the band at what they do; they most certainly are a talented bunch, including the vocalist, and there are plenty of quality moments throughout that stand out after repeated listens. As a whole though, it doesn't grab me like it would have done if it were released in the mid-nineties...although I'm guessing it would've thrown me across the room if that was the case.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Another very strong output by Borknagar, I see it in the same league with Empirism, strong progressive elements, clever songwriting while retaining extreme metal hooks and not getting commercial as on the later "Winter Thrice" or "True north". Contrasts between solid melodies and heavy black/dea ... (read more)

Report this review (#2311739) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I first got into the heavier aspects of music (meaning metal of all kinds) around about 2004, when this record came out, though I hadn't yet heard of Borknagar. I discovered bands such as Deicide and Cannibal Corpse first, and despite my liking for some of the music, I was seeking something w ... (read more)

Report this review (#458723) | Posted by nahnite | Friday, June 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First of all, before we get in the dabate of knowing if Borknagar is black or progressive, let's start by saying that, i am not a fan of black metal, not at all, but i 've heard the instrumental song the weight of wind, and i really got something out of it. The rest of the album is just perfe ... (read more)

Report this review (#59897) | Posted by | Friday, December 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 i ... (read more)

Report this review (#41172) | Posted by | Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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