“Origin” by Borknagar

Artist: Borknagar
Title: “Origin”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 10/31/2006
Genre: Acoustic/Folk
Rating: 4/5

The rising popularity of Folk and Celtic music and its continual expression in a number of the world’s Metal bands of today had this release make perfect sense for the members of Borknagar. As many already know, Borknagar are literally the masters of Progressive Black Metal and prove them as such on almost every outing that they undertake. Their main songwriter (Oystein G. Brun) is the type of writer who always composes the bands music in the acoustic sense. This made the decision to release an album that was not only acoustic and classically based, but itself an acoustic album a promising idea. The thinking was that it would allow fans of the band to see just how musical they are and how deep the melody goes. Isn’t it interesting to find the level of Progressive Black Metal they do coming from such vibrant acoustic compositions. We saw Opeth go this route on “Damnation”, and Green Carnation with “The Acoustic Verses”; yet this album is far more traditional and not as experimental as those others. The comparison is to cite that this can and often does work very well. The only downside is that the album is very short and runs a mere 35 minutes and will leave the listener with a sense of wanting more. At least the replay is but a click of the remote away. The main band performs on the following instruments Oystein G. Brun (acoustic, classic and high string guitars), Lars A. Nedland (piano, keyboards, organs and backing vocals), Vintersorg (vocals, choirs, and chants), Tyr (bass) and Asgeir Mickelson (drums). It was very interesting to hear Vintersorg singing in complete melody for a change for there are no growls to be found anywhere on this release. Several guest musicians that truly bring this to a brighter life accompany Borknagar. Among their number is Steiner Ofsdal (woodwinds), Sareeta (violin) and Thomas Nilsson (cello).

The band delivers eight new songs as well as a remake of their own “Oceans Rise” from their “Archaic Course” album. As you can expect this is a completely different version. There is not a bad track on the CD and as I mentioned just earlier this is the kind of music that you will find yourself playing repeatedly and not be left with the feeling that you have given up your Metal loyalty. I do feel that you need an open mind to best appreciate this wondrous listen as lush strings, cello, harmony vocals and acoustic guitars will make you feel as though you wander the Nordic forests or gaze upon some wondrous scenery. I can recommend this particular album for those that also enjoy the Renaissance flair of Blackmore’s Night. “Origin” proves that the tapestries woven by many groups are richly detailed and with each completed work, there is beauty that requires several visits to best appreciate. Thanks guys.

Track Listing:
1. Earth Imagery
2. Grains
3. Oceans rise
4. Signs
5. White
6. Cynosure
7. Human Nature
8. Acclimation
9. The Spirit Of Nature

Official Website: www.borknagar.com

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