Borknagar - Borknagar review


134 users:
Band: Borknagar
Album: Borknagar
Release date: 1996

01. Vintervredets Sjelesagn
02. Tanker Mot Tind (Kvelding)
03. Svartskogs Gilde
04. Ved Steingard
05. Krigsstev
06. Dauden
07. Grimskalle Trell
08. Nord Naagauk
09. Fandens Allheim
10. Tanker Mot Tind (Gryning)

Borknagar's first album is called Borknagar and I don't really know how to start writing about this piece of music. First of all, I am not a black metal fan at all, but Borknagar, especially this album of theirs, is what appeals to me the most from amongst all other music of this particular genre. The group has gone through a very versatile career, but this is their starting point and is also their most black/viking metal album that they have ever produced.

This album is "insert expletive" good. I have no "expletive" words to describe how awesome this release is and I think this is the best "expletive" melodic black metal album of all time. The text I am writing seems as if written by a 14-year-old fanboy, but as you all know, I am no black metal fan. If an album of this genre makes even a person whose main musical taste doesn't consist of black metal use that many expletives in a good way, logic shows Borknagar's Borknagar indeed has to be a special album.

Why is Bork's Bork such a great album? First of all, the structure and atmosphere. While a lot of black metal groups fail to compose a strong album and end up having a release where most tracks are all the same and do not evoke any emotions at all, Borknagar's first album has fiercely fast powerful moments and then soothing acoustic passages, it is all very natural and pleasant. When the music is fast and aggressive, it shakes the world around you, when it's calm, it is very beautiful and contemplative. And the melodies, most important part of music, are everywhere. The guitars create music that is thick and powerful and at the same time so clear and light. The melodies are like winds, movements of dark clouds over the pure snowy plains, sharp mountaintops and over vast dark green depths of forests, bringing all this beauty to you. It is wonderful the group has accomplished this with a simple album like Borknagar.

Garm sings on this album, compared to other vocalists of the group his voice has made the music sound best. The way he sings on the first album is superb, he sure is one of the best male vocalists metal scene has ever had. His ability to shift and play with voice, making it cold, sharp and high, then deep, strong and multi-layered is wondrous. It is impossible not to be touched by the profound and solemn atmosphere created by this music and Garm's singing.

The most outstanding songs of the album are "Vintervredets Sjelesagn", the first track that comes and takes the listeners away, lifts the souls high, "Grimskalle Trell", a very very good song, "Fandens Allheim" and the both "Tanker Mot Tind". All in all the album is the true gem of melodic black metal, that's why it deserves such a high rating. It has the perfect songs to get pumped-up to. This will always be known as the most outstanding album of Borknagar.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Written by Ernis | 10.06.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 90 users
22.06.2009 - 01:33
Liver Failure
Good review. Althou I wouldn't give an 9,9 to this album, I also enjoyed a lot. The ''rawness'' fitted nice with the few folkloric aspects.

''Grimskalle Trell'' and 'Dauden' are pretty catchy.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
19.03.2011 - 08:27
15.08.2011 - 19:05
Account deleted
Good black metal. First spin. It's still a little noisy, but It'll get better.
26.09.2011 - 01:05
Account deleted
Reminds me of early Enslaved on some aspects
17.10.2011 - 22:51
Frost Beast
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 26.09.2011 at 01:05

Reminds me of early Enslaved on some aspects

Yeah, they both have a viking vibe to them. Not only that, but also their next album (The Olden Domain) reminds me of later Enslaved! The similarity in proggy playing and clean vocals is undeniable.

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