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Benjaminc81

Borknagar

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The guys of Borknagar are preparing to drop their new album "True North" at the end of this month. The perfect opportunity to show these guys some love since they are underrated as hell in my opinion. Through the years some of black metal most beloved members have played in this band from Infernus and Grimm, Ivar Bjornson to Kristoffer Rygg and ICS Vortex. They had a really strong start with their classic self titled album which followed by the equally stunnning "The Olden Domain". Afer that some of the more well known members like Kristoffer Rygg left and people like ICS Vortex took over the reigns but with Øystein Brun always being the driving force behind the band.

Mind you i'm also not a fan of all their work though. Around 2000 they lost me a little when they went all proggy on albums like "Empiricsm" and "Epic". They abandoned their black metal roots a little too much for my personal taste. Although they have redeemed themselves quite nicely these last few years with albums like "Urd" and "Winter Thrice" which are somewhat a return to their roots with even Kristoffer Rygg making a guest appereance on the last album. Vintersorg who helmed the band these last few years unfortunately had to step down as their vocalist due to health related issues and now ICS Vortex is back on the lead vocals for the upcoming album which is either good or bad depending on your tolerance for epic vocals.

Anyway i would love to hear your opinion on this band. I know some people find them underwhelming, thinking their albums are  mostly sub-par considering the talent involved while others praise them as Norway's best kept secret. So let's hear it.

 

Also here are the two new songs from their upcoming album "True North". Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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I could have sworn we had a Borknagar thread elsewhere, but I couldn't find it just now. Wouldn't be the first thread that disappeared. Anyway, as much as I hate pedantic subgenre classification arguments, I don't personally hear these guys as "black metal". I'd put them generally in the same category as Enslaved (and even maybe Ulver's Bergtatt) - progressive and folk-influenced "extreme metal". Sonically I can see the black metal connection, especially on the first album, but their melodies and songwriting style and general energy stand apart from BM for me.

I really dig the debut but I can't get behind the follow-up, despite how much I love Garm's voice. It took me years to warm up to Empiricism but it's slowly become one of my favorite albums. Aside from those two albums, I struggle to enjoy their stuff -- and I'm not a fan of Vortex -- but those two are enough for me to have some respect for the band and keep coming back periodically to check in. After all, I might change my mind, it's happened before.

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I love Borknagar, and yes I agree that it’s a tough fit cramming them into the black metal genre. 

I own all of their albums except for the second and third, which I find to be good, but just not quite comfortable in their own skin. To me they’re transitional albums. I keep Borknagar CDs in my General Metal collection and have never considered keeping them in my black metal collection.

For me, the Vintersorg era eg ‘Empericism’ and on, has been my favourite, and I think they reached their peak on ‘Winter Thrice’. And I’m no prog fan, but all of those Vintersorg albums do it for me.

One reason is the vocals, especially after Vortex rejoined the band and we had Vintersorg, Vortex and Lars all providing their voices. Just magic.

I was really sad to hear that Vintersorg was out of the band, but damn those new songs with just Vortex and Lars singing are sublime. 

I cant wait for the new album and I’m already making space in my Top 10 Albums of 2019 list.

I’ll do a full ranking of their albums when I get behind a computer. 

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