- 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 (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,469 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great CD Borknagar is a great Band true Viking Black Metal. This CD is AwesomePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Borknagar is the all star band that tends to create a more mature and experienced take on blackened metal. Read morePublished on September 4, 2005 by J. Holmes
At least Simen Hestnaes (ICS Vortex), I did. He's got a great voice. If only the synths, guitars and his vocals were more prominent. Read morePublished on July 11, 2004 by buh
In general, this is probably one of the best black metal (or whatever subgenre this stuff fits into) bands I've heard. Read morePublished on January 27, 2004 by Argenoufterous
I started listening to Borknagar with their newest release Empiricism, and being thoroughly impressed with that, am now investing in the band's older work. Read morePublished on January 13, 2004 by mysanthropyk_overlord
Black metal is what it is for the simple fact that it has bands such as "borknagar" in it. Now, this album is true music to my ears. Read morePublished on January 10, 2003 by Ephesians413
This amazing release was vocalist and bassist ICS Vortex's last one with Borknagar before he departed for a permanent bass post in Dimmu Borgir. Read morePublished on October 21, 2002 by Chernobog
This was my introduction to Borknagar and I have to say at first the only three songs I could listen to on the CD were Colossus, The Presence Is Ominous, and Rivalry of Phantoms. Read morePublished on October 15, 2002