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Borknagar: Epic

Each album from Borknagar brings me closer to embracing or at least enjoying black metal. After too many lineup changes to mention, one of extreme-metal's reigning giants has crawled out from under its rock after a three-year absence to release Epic, the Norwegian band's sixth album that is also arguably its best. I use the term "arguably" because some black-metal purists (if those two words can be used in the same phrase) will no doubt balk at Borknagar's expanded use of keyboards, clean vocals and progressive tendencies. The band's avant-garde mix of pagan folklore and metal remains more intact than ever, though. Adding more clean vocals to offset the slithering delivery of Vintersorg often in the same song is bound to encourage some listeners to give Borknagar a second chance, and the creative and effective use of Hammond organ on "Resonance" and piano on "The Weight of the Wind" pushes this band further from comparisons to its dark Norwegian counterparts. Borknagar even attempts to sound like Rhapsody on "Circled," a track that lives up to the album's title. Also worth noting are the philosophical lyrics, which (when audible) question the nature of the universe in songs like "Traveller" and "Origin." If I were to try turning on my uninitiated friends to black metal, I'd start (and perhaps even end) with Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar.


Track Listing
1) Future Reminiscence (5:26)
2) Traveller (5:03)
3) Origin (4:58)
4) Sealed Chambers of Electricity (4:12)
5) The Weight of Wind (3:58)
6) Resonance (4:28)
7) Relate (4:28)
8) Cyclus (5:25)
9) Circled (4:45)
10) The Inner Ocean Hypothesis (5:10)
11) Quintessence (5:31)
12) The Wonder (4:16)
Total Time: 57:55

Added: October 15th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official Borknagar Web Site
Hits: 3174
Language: english

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