Rating:
9.0
Borknagar - Empiricism
2001


01. The Genuine Pulse
02. Gods Of My World
03. The Black Canvas
04. Matter & Motion
05. Soul Sphere
06. Inherit The Earth
07. The Stellar Dome
08. Four Element Synchronicity
09. Liberated
10. The View Of Everlast


Borknagar are actually one of the most original and intelligent band on the scene.Often roughly defined a Black Epic metal band, this six-member formation from Norway has always given us, since 1995 brilliant and complex albums [remember the fantastic "The Archaic Course"] strongs of an excellent songwriting from the band's brain and founder Ostein G. Brun.

Now with "Empiricism" we can see that this experience [as the title suggest] has brought us a new masterpiece. This is almost an "all star" band now: after the departure of Simen Hestnaes better known as Vortrex, Brun recruited the able throated Vintersorg; the bass player is now Tyr, ex Emperor and Satyricon; Brun himself is a great compser as well as good guitarist, and Lars Nedland aka Lazare is a resouceful piano player.

We have 10 complex songs to listen accurately to understand the line wich is hiding behind the guitar riffing, the piano interludes and the obscure bass working of Tyr.

Vintersorg's voice doesn't make us regret Vortrex: it is versatile and powerful in both the grim one and the clean tone [he demonstrate himself to be a real singer, not only a growler] and peaks of exellence are indeed reached when the two voices sing simultaneously.

Alternative solutions are searched by using instruments such as a Hammond organ played by Lazare who demonstrates all his talent in the composition of the only instrumental track of the album "Matter&Motion": an oniric piano interlude which slightly reminds me of some of Arcturus's works. A music that goes beyond the schemes, to be understood more than to be listened to.The lyrics are worthy of a particular mention: mainly written by Brun and Nedland they are complex and hard to understand, [once again they reminds me of Arcturus], not only a tangle of obscure and meaningless words as some bands do, but real poetry work which gives this album another element of excellence, closing the perfect circle formed by the music, the lyrics themselves and by the wonderful artwork too.

An album for few, indeed, but it is better this way. If you only like brutal-death-gore-splatter bands, with lyrics concerning only sodomized girls, body desecrating, and brain splattering and a constant double bass drumming, forget this CD; but if you like to accept different things and to be surprised by good music... well this is a work of art.


Band profile: Borknagar
Album: Empiricism


 


written by Sephiroth | 02.09.2003



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Bitch Boy - 02.01.2007 at 00:12  
I totally agree with what you said about Vintersorg. Maybe Borknagar isn't "true" black metal, but this album is one of my favorites of the scene. Excellent review!!
Paganblood - 14.01.2007 at 09:04  
good review!
Uirapuru - 24.04.2008 at 06:19  
This album has its own soul. Its a different atmosphere from all others borknagar albuns. And vintersorg fits perfectly in this kind... i prefer ICS voice.. but not for this album... who is perfect in all aspects. Songs like Inherit The Earth and The Black Canvas represents better the albun's soul.

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