Borknagar "Universal"

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon ReviewsRating: 0.90/1
Borknagar "Universal"
  • Album: Universal
  • Year: 2010
  • Label: Indie
  • Artist: 
  • Norway

Everything goes back to 16 years ago, when the guitarist Oystein Garnes Brun wanted to play something else than Death Metal. Actually, almost all Nordic people started to change their orientation from Death to Black… why wouldn’t Oystein do the same? And this is how BORKNAGAR appeared, and a very appreciated debut at that time, because the line-up was formed by musicians from ENSLAVED, GORGOROTH, ULVER or IMMORTAL!

In time, many well known musicians who realized memorable albums strolled, BORKNAGAR being easily assimilated as a Traditional Black Metal band. In 2009, Oystein (the only stable member from the beginning), started to work on the 8th album, side by side with valuable musicians: Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund at vocals, Lars “Lazare” Nedland (SOLEFALD) at keyboards, Jens F. Ryland at guitar (ex DHG), David Kinkade (ex- MALEVOLENT CREATION) at battery and Jan Erik Tiwaz (EMPEROR and SATYRICON live) at bass.

With such a team, Oystein achieved a small musical jewel, which combines, not at all in an original way for nowadays’ times, but representative to the BORKNAGAR sound, Folk, Black and Progressive ingredients, in the most melodic and epic way possible.

We also have a song which should have been included on “The Archaic Course” 12 years ago. This “My Domain” with Vortex at vocals, is absolutely brilliant!  I don’t know if “Universal” has something extra than the other BORKNAGAR albums…maybe concerning the production, mastering, sounding… in change, it is merely BORKNAGAR, easy to recognize, easy to describe !

Vintersorg’s voice alternation conveys perfectly with Lazare’s “retro” keyboard, the final sound making references to the 70s. The guitars seem to have the same energy and the battery is more focused on dynamics than technique, loosely increasing the tempo, in contrast with the previous albums. Nihil Novi Sub Sole, but BORKNAGAR in full splendor!  It’s worth listening to… and necessarily to be seen live, if we want to look at it as a challenge, because this sound’s technique is easily to reproduce in studio and definitely harder on stage, in front of a public used to cadenced rhythms or ultrafast and less complex and wrapping !