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Borknagar: Empiricism

Some albums fly through my hands as quickly as I can note some essential quality for a review; mostly these are nods or shrugs, as product multiplies and time is limited. Borknagar demands one's full attention. Metamorphosis marks their musical journey: leaving black metal domains for a symphonically dense, progressively nuanced epigone of the Viking/pagan, the band has always shown striking reach and passion beyond the grip of most in "extreme music" genres. On Empiricism, the addition of the brilliant Swede Vintersorg on vocals, meshed with the usual tight songwriting ethic and fleshed out to effect with Hammond organ and real strings, highlights the prog rock impulse in Borknagar's project. The unabashed epic beauty of songs like "The Stellar Dome," recalling Vintersorg's themes on his last solo album Cosmic Genesis, takes Borknagar into the realm of heroes. Tyr's rippling bass work strikes delicate notes and bold support in equal measure. Empiricism is a landmark album, a standard of excellence to touch the mind and thrill the spirit.

Added: November 10th 2001
Reviewer: Alex S. Johnson
Related Link: Century Media
Hits: 3956
Language: english

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