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Quintessence


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Audio CD, May 23, 2000
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$59.98 $11.55

1. Rivalry Of Phantoms
2. The Presence Of Ominous
3. Ruins Of The Future
4. Colossus
5. Inner Landscape
6. Invincible
7. Icon Dreams
8. Genesis Torn
9. Embers
10. Revolt

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Century Media
  • ASIN: B00004TDX9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By p_drl on March 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Where "The Archaic Course" showcased Borknagar's fascination with nature and took more of a majestic Viking metal route, the sound on 2000's "Quintessence" is more focused on songwriting, and is, simply put, more aggressive and well... heavier!

Speeding down a path of musical and intellectual evolution, Borknagar changed themselved from the inside out here. The lyrics focus on science and universal mysteries rather than nature-themed lyrics on previous outings. Definitely provokes the listener to think, despite their obscurity, which may caise a few eyebrows to raise. But the lyrics are descriptive and beautiful nonetheless. These are by far some of the best lyrics I have seen in metal, alongside Agalloch, Dissection, and Emperor, among others.

The guitars and drums have sped up consistently and now collaborate together impeccably. There are a lot of intricate fills on the drums, and much more in-your-fave double bass. All around, it's a fresh awakening from the "wall of noise" production used on previous albums. However, the guitars are a little too distorted and muddy for their own good, and sometimes clashes with the keyboards, which are more up-front than "The Archaic Course". They weave pompous and majestic melodies throughout the album, giving this album quite an ethereal atmosphere.

Vortex now does bass and vocals. He still has one of the best clean voices in metal, but he does more screaming, which is much more visceral and venomous than before. His all-around vocal job is more steady, and he busts out some beautiful vocal harmonies on "Colossus" and "Revolt".

1. Rivalry of Phantoms- Storms into a frenzy of triumphant guitar melodies, with some great organs underlying the storming and intricate drumwork.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the first Borknagar album I was privy to, and the first black metal release I actually enjoyed.
Listeners that are new to black metal may not quite appreciate the raspy, harsh "black metal" vocals at first. However, they are an acquired taste, and one would soon prefer them to any other sort of vocal style, in the metal genre. The operatics found in "Colossus" and "Revolt", most notably, are quite stunning; singer I.C.S. Vortex is quite easily one of the best vocalists in the metal style of music. Another point of interest is the actual overdubbing screaming vocals with clean vocals, such as on "The Prescence is Ominous", and "Rivalry of Phantoms". A good mix, but an odd one nonetheless.
Oystein G. Brun's guitar work and songwriting/arranging is impeccable on this album, leaving no flaws that I can detect. The lyrics make no sense whatsoever, but they do flow quite well. I don't believe that he has a very good grasp of the english language. There is enough synth on this album to make it incredibly complex, but it is still not overpowering.
All in all, this is the best album for you to buy if you are new to Black Metal, and you want to ease yourself into the sound.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "ratsinthewall2" on December 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you enjoy black metal with a more melodic approach, you may enjoy this. Borknagar use pretty standard thrash style guitars, laced with keyboard/synth music, and fast rhythmic drumming. On this album the band seems to wind in and out from sudden bursts of chaotic noise to dark melodies. Borknagar do not stay on one musical path, you don't know what to expect on the next song or even the next chorus. You can here the "old-school" influences but they have an original take on black metal. The album goes in all directions! One problem with the album I found was that the vocals strayed to almost ridiculous at some points (kind of like a whiny six year old with mucous in his throat), but they have superb vocals through out most of the album. The band does not stick to one vocal style, there are clean vocals, black metal vocals, and average heavy metal vocals. The lyrics are excellent and poetic, the music is complex and varied. My favorite songs are "Colossus," and "Revolt." I'd say that if you are into Agathodaimon, EmpEroR, CoF, Dimmu Borgir, or maybe Gorgoroth, or even some who are into melodic death metal would probably want to check this CD out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick Watkins on October 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Man, I didn't realize how long I've had this album...I'd say about two years or so. Two years. And it spent about 9/10 of that time sitting on my shelf collecting dust. Thank God I decided to give it another listen; it'd still be there if I hadn't.

Borknagar, upon first listen, may sound like just another black metal band. They sure did to me. I saw nothing of revelance to them when compared to other black metal bands, so I put this CD on the shelf and forgot about it. Only a few months ago did I decide to give it another listen, and because I did, I'm now a pretty damn big Borknagar fan.

Yes, the songs are black metal, but different from the standard BM in a very hard to describe way. Let's call them progressive black metal. They are to black metal what "Tales From the Thousand Lakes" era Amorphis was to death metal. They create super complex music with layers of melodies and lyrics that go far beyond that of the typical genres. At the time this record came out, preaching Satan and ranting about killing Christians was the black metal norm. Borknagar dared to write more poetic lyrics. And it succeeded.

The first track is a heavy one, starting right off with rapid riffing and drumming, as well as a high pitched shriek from vocalist / bassist ICS Vortex. After 22 seconds, we are led into the first verse, with Vortex's screaming accompanied with an effect that he uses throughout the album.
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