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Borknagar Empiricism album cover
3.28 | 42 ratings | 6 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Genuine (4:52)
2. Gods of My World (4:26)
3. The Black Canvas (5:19)
4. Matter and Motion (2:30)
5. Soul Sphere (6:41)
6. Inherit the Earth (5:30)
7. The Stellar Dome (5:37)
8. Four Element Synchronicity (5:51)
9. Liberated (4:52)
10. The View of Everlast (4:30)

Total Time 50:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund / vocals
- Řystein G. Brun / electric & acoustic guitars
- Jens F. Ryland / electric & acoustic guitars
- Lars Nedland / synth, Hammond, grand piano, backing vocals
- Jan Erik "Tyr" Torgersen / 6-string & fretless basses
- Asgeir Mickelson / drums & percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Asgeir Mickelson

CD Century Media ‎- 77399-2 (2001, Europe)

LP Century Media ‎- 77337-1 (2001, Europe)
LP Cosmic Key Creations ‎- CKC039 (2018, Netherlands)

Thanks to Logos for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BORKNAGAR Empiricism ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BORKNAGAR Empiricism reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars Continuation.

Borknagar continues to evolve their sound, with much more added effect from Hammond organs and synthesizers, along with different song dynamics. Combinations of operatic chorus vocals with grim vocals is found. Guitars shift from back in the mix to forward, sometimes to ill effect however.

Songs range quite much (and somewhat surprisingly). Some seem quite dull (Gods of My World) as almost cringeworthy metal songs, while others are very intriguing, like the 7th Guest sounding Matter and Motion, an extremely eerie piece. There's quite a bit of diversity, even some jazzy interludes.

Some of the clean vocals can be a bit "too much" at times, just being a bit over the top, but overall it's mostly solid work. Understand this certainly is not for everyone, and I would recommend you have a taste for the genre, even an acquired one, before approaching this. Not excellent, but a nice little piece of work that is rewarding if you have the patience.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Empiricism is the fifth full-length studio album by Norwegian melodic/ symphonic black metal act Borknagar. After the recording of Quintessence (2000) vocalist/ bassist I.C.S. Vortex left the band and new lead vocalist on Empiricism is Vintersorg. New bassist is Tyr.

The music on Empiricism is much in the same vein as on Quintessence though. The lineup changes doesn´t mean that much even though I know some people find Vintersorg´s vocals to be an aquired taste. The vocals still alternate between raspy black metal style vocals and clean male vocals. Well executed vocals IMO. The music is dominated by loads and loads of classical inspired keyboards, organ and synths by Lars A. Nedland ( Age of Silence, Winds, Vintersorg, Solefald) and the guitars which are normally the most prominent instrument in metal is a bit more in the background. The drums are excellent and it´s greatly enjoyable that Asgeir Mickelson lends his skills to another Borknagar album. He is such a skilled drummer. The songs are very melodic and generally memorable even though they do tend to get a bit trivial towards the end of the album. I´m not much a fan of this melodic/ symphonic black metal genre though so fans of the genre might feel otherwise.

The musicianship and production is top notch. Nothing wrong in that department.

Empiricism is a good album by Borknagar and I was actually considering at some point if it deserved a 4 star rating but I´ve come to the conclusion that it´s a big 3 star rating. Not quite to my taste but definitely a quality album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Released in 2001, Empiricism marks a fine return to form for Borknagar after two albums (The Archaic Course and Quintessence) that were far from the level of quality the Norwegians had reached on the splendid The Olden Domain. After Quintessence, ICS Vortex, who had sung on both previous albums and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2601261) | Posted by lukretio | Sunday, October 10, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Keyboards and drums continue to be the most progressive elements on the album followed by vocals. By now, the band can offer a high quality clean vocal tandem, black metal screaming as well as death-metal growling. Especially the second half of the album is ambitious and progressive by Borknagar ... (read more)

Report this review (#2309958) | Posted by sgtpepper | Monday, January 27, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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 prominen ... (read more)

Report this review (#218071) | Posted by topofsm | Sunday, May 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Prior to this album's release, I had only heard Borknagar's previous, ''Quintessence'', and had liked it a lot; thus, I was very interested to hear what they'd come up with this time. However, I certainly didn't expect anything like this! The album's atmosphere is very different from ''Quintessen ... (read more)

Report this review (#185390) | Posted by splyu | Sunday, October 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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