Rating:
7.6
Borknagar - Origin
30 October 2006


01. Earth Imagery
02. Grains
03. Oceans Rise
04. Signs
05. White
06. Cynosure
07. The Human Nature
08. Acclimation
09. The Spirit Of Nature


Every time a band tries its hand at something different from what they are known for, they are bound to either be applauded or booed. When Melodic Black Metal combo Borknagar announced that their new opus would be an all acoustic effort, I was excited from the get-go.

Indeed, their music relies a lot on influences other than Black Metal, and this album would have been a great way to express this. That's the context in which "Origin" was brought to my attention, and while this album has its moments, it was overall a personal disappointment.

Yes, multi-talented singer Vintersorg is all over this release, putting up a great lyrical fight to save this album from oblivion but overall it lacks substance, it lacks spirit. Stripped of the usual coating of Metal, this acoustic album sounds more like a world music piece with folk influences, filled with too much bamboo flute melodies and some weak structures at times. Interesting enough, the most striking track on "Origin" is 'Ocean Rise', which happens to be a new spin on 'The Archaic Course'. 'White' is another good moment, if you like Lazare vocals that is.

While "Origin" is not a lost cause, it could have been a lot better. Its short running time does not play in its favor either. I am usually all for exploring new musical horizons, but I think Garnes Brun and Vintersorg should stop experimenting left and right - whether with "Origin" or "Terra" (with side-project Cronian) - and go back to what they did best with "Empiricism". So, please stick to your inspired Melodic Black Metal and prove us that Borknagar is not on its way out. Apart from that, if you are looking for something unusual, this may be your ticket. But comparing "Origin" to something like Opeth's "Damnation", shows how much Borknagar missed out on this release.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Borknagar
Album: Origin


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 20.12.2006



Comments

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Damned-In-Black - 20.12.2006 at 06:59  
I agree with the review for the most part. It's an ok album - pleasant, but nothing special. Just plain dull and uninspired-feeling at times. Could definitely have been better.
MUSIC? - 20.12.2006 at 09:43  
That's disappointing to hear, but not really surprising. Nonetheless, I'll probably still buy if I ever see it in stores.
Ealdamir - 20.12.2006 at 11:42  
It's not that bad but nothing exciting too
I only think that the comparison was wrong. Borkagar tried here mostly to make a folk album and not just acoustic imo and it really has no much in common with damnation (except from metal bands unplugged).
It is alhough miles behind Ulver's Kveldssanger
Valaskjalf - 20.12.2006 at 12:56  
Well I guess on the positive side we cant fault the band for not trying something different.....on the negative, they didnt really pull it off the way they could have. Perhaps the next album will be back along the lines of Empiricism which was an absolute masterpiece!
Joop - 20.12.2006 at 13:03  
I think it IS exciting. This is the chance to hear what is behind their kind of metal.
They made an album without adding the Metal sauce to it...

For me it is far more clear now how the music is evolved from the acoustic base.
Great guest musicians, and great atmosphere!
Ealdamir - 20.12.2006 at 15:09  
@joop I agree that it's very good to expirement but it lacked inspiration and maybe i was more expectant from borknagar
graywolf87 - 26.06.2007 at 06:33  
I agree with everything you said.
...my point of view is that sometimes musicians get bored of playing the same and experiment with new ideas and sounds, they risked everything here and achieved something new. I would give it a 7.6 as well for being creative.
Uirapuru - 17.04.2009 at 16:13  
Written by Guest on 20.12.2006 at 13:03

I think it IS exciting. This is the chance to hear what is behind their kind of metal.
They made an album without adding the Metal sauce to it...

For me it is far more clear now how the music is evolved from the acoustic base.
Great guest musicians, and great atmosphere!


I'm with you in this. The spirit and and the theme that are Borknagar's major feature are still there. It's different musicality only helped this album to become unique.

All the songs are amazing and memorable, the Ocean's Rise version is fantastic. Any Borknagar real fan would appreciate this work, in understand for the band's creative purpose. An album like Origin fits perfectly Borknagar's style. The experience of listening to this album is transcendent.
Introspekrieg - 25.04.2009 at 08:58  
This album is amazing, it has taken a while to fully set in, but it's finally hit me. I would say "The Human Nature" is my favorite track, and bear in mind I have been on a Vintersorg and Jethro Tull kick lately so the two roads finally converge here...
ylside - 24.10.2009 at 14:07  
One of the best albums I've ever heard.
@gent_-_orange - 17.04.2011 at 21:01  
WOW this album is damn good one of my favorite acoustic albums alongside Ulvers second album.

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