Borknagar - Epic
Century Media
Progressive Black Metal
12 songs (57:55)
Release year: 2004
Borknagar, Century Media
Reviewed by Jeff
Album of the month

For me, Borknagar is like the Yes or Genesis of progressive black metal. They travel into musical realms not many other bands have dared to explore. No matter what line up they have, they continue to improve and out do themselves with each release.

"Empiricism" is one of my favorite Borknagar releases to date, let alone one of my top ten progressive black metal albums of all time! The addition of Vintersorg to lead vocals was a welcomed one and helped take the band's music a step further. My anticipation for the release of "Epic" was impatient to say the least as I've been very interested to see how Borknagar was going to top "Empiricism". After listening to the CD, I can say that "Epic" comes damn close to "Empiricism".

The line up for "Epic" consists of Andreas Hedlund (Vintersorg/Havayoth), guitarist Øystein G. Brun, keyboardist Lars A. Nedland (Lazare of Solefald) and bassist/drummer Asgeir Mickelson (Spiral Architect/Lunaris/Testament). Musically, "Epic" takes off and expands from where "Empiricism" ended. The music has continued to evolve and become more refined and focused with few subtle changes throughout. Lyrically, the subject matter regards metaphysics. Borknagar continues to switch off between the use of harsh death metal vocals and clean melodic ones, both as lead and as background. The keyboards (such as the organ and piano) are more present and help give "Epic" the atmospheric feel. Acoustic guitars, clean electric guitars and distorted guitars take turns in usage, giving the album a wider depth. The drumming is as technical as ever, as is the intricate bass lines. Borknagar has found a perfect balance in the way they use all of these weapons when countering their musical attack, which is complemented by the overall production of this CD, courtesy of Borge Finstad (Mayhem/Solefald).

One thing that concerns me with Borknagar's music is that it is sounding alot like Vintersorg's at times, not that it's a bad thing. There are slight differences between the two, such as Vintersorg's music being a bit more cosmic both lyrically and the way in which he uses keyboards. This type of situation reminds me of how King Diamond approaches his role both as a solo artist and as the lead vocalist/song writer in Mercyful Fate.

"Epic" is a musical journey that one will slowly digest, but savor every musical moment! If you liked "Empircism" or Vintersorg's "The Focusing Blur", then you are sure to love "Epic". It is available now in Europe and will be released in the United States August 10th.

 

 

Killing Songs :
ALL!
Jeff quoted 95 / 100
Alex quoted 78 / 100
Jay quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Borknagar that we have reviewed:
Borknagar - Urd reviewed by Khelek and quoted 90 / 100
Borknagar - The Archaic Course reviewed by Khelek and quoted 90 / 100
Borknagar - Universal reviewed by Kyle and quoted 86 / 100
Borknagar - Quintessence reviewed by Danny and quoted 78 / 100
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