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Quintessence


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Audio CD, May 23, 2000
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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: #175,529 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
The guitars weave some great melodies, and the drums are outstanding!
p_drl
I think that this is worth buying for someone who listens to Children of Bodom (good band).
"stlawrenceonaskewer"
The lyrics on this album, as I said before, are all very well written.
Nick Watkins

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 "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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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HallofGods on June 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I was looking forward to the new Borknagar album, wondering what new transcendental path the band would take me on. Swords and heroes, ancient gods and the power of the elements - Scandinavian mythology had been at the core of the previous albums, The Olden Domain and The Archaic Course.
With Quintessence, the underlying theme has changed - not a bad thing in itself. One thing you have to give Borknagar is that they are not simply presenting us with yesterday's leftovers i.e. there are some new ideas, apart from the theme change in this album. The 'sound' of Borknagar has changed - maybe something to do with Peter Tagtgren. The singing style on 'The Presence is Ominous' and 'Ruins of the Future' are unique to this album. Ruins features what I call a 'trying to speak in water' effect, with the last word in each line being distorted in a staggered kind of way. The former has two layers of sound, one voice singing 'clean' and one growling, synchronized and layered in such a way to produce an interesting effect. I couldn't help but feeling that the new album had a positive feel about it - no gloom and doom here. Even the synth recorded on the album, while being used only to produce more or less one kind of sound, feels overly positive. Also, this album features three new members.
Despite all the newer elements, I can't but help feeling disappointed. If you were to ask me what were the highlights on this album, I couldn't tell you. Almost all the songs sound pretty similar, and they are all Very Average. No particular song stands out, which is not a bad thing if all the songs are great, which unfortunately is not the case here. Most of the songs get boring about half way through.
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