heavy metal

Borknagar Bio

Band members
Vintersorg – Vocals
Oystein G. Brun guitar
I.C.S. Vortex vocals/bass
Jens F. Ryland guitar
Asgeir Mickelson drums
Lars A. Nedland synthesizers


Norway's BORKNAGAR have for the sixth time transcended metal's boundaries. The band utilized the time between 2001's Empiricism to perform a handful of select festival appearances (Germany's Wacken and Party-San, and Summer Rocks in Hungary), and to concentrate on returning with a release of monumental proportions. Epic delivers an overwhelming avant-garde mix of pagan folk influences combined with black and progressive metal. Like a raging river whose water may change, but whose energy and direction never vary. Mastermind and guitarist Øystein G. Brun has kept BORKNAGAR's sound not only true to itself, but unique even while changing members. Like Empiricism, Epic features vocalist Vintersorg (Vintersorg, Otyg), who replaced Simen Hestnæs a.k.a. ICS Vortex (now bassist and backing vocalist for Dimmu Borgir), who in turn replaced original vocalist Garm (Arcturus, Ulver). Keyboardist and background vocalist Lars A. Nedland (Solefald) adds his well-developed distinctive ambiance, while drummer and recording bassist Asgeir Mickelson (Spiral Architect, Vintersorg, Testament), filling in after the departure of long-time bassist Tyr (Satyricon, Emperor), contains and maintains the changing energy currents and time signatures.

Battering its way into your brain, "Future Reminiscence" opens with an intense black metal anthemic cold winter soundscape complete with signature Borknagar lyrics. Extremely ambitious music the album is replete with folk passages, clean and death vocals, and lyrics that question the nature of the universe on a scientific and universal level. Hurtling quickly from light to dark "Traveller" explains that through numbers we might solve the space between nothingness and infinity that wisdom can come through the logical understanding of numbers. "Origin" challenges that mankind may understand the nature of the universe but still cannot control or understand its own natural instincts and mortality. The lyrical concepts remain dynamic throughout and are equaled by the constant challenge offered by the musical whirlwind. "Whirlwind" is a subtle interlude a graceful showcasing of BORKNAGAR's tension-fraught keyboards that trade-off their melody with guitars and drums together all painting a progressive metal picture. Epic demonstrates that the band have mastered their trade, have become a vivacious leader experimenting with and stretching the boundaries of music and sound.
Returning to Toproom Studios (Tristania, Winds) with Børge Finstad (Mayhem, Arcturus, Extol), who worked with the band on Empiricism, BORKNAGAR's sound has never been more dense in feel and breathtaking in singularity. The finishing touch is Asgeir Mickelson's arresting cover art representing the band's music by portraying the interconnectedness between the environment, technology and knowledge. Marked by an ever-changing metamorphosis, BORKNAGAR's sound has helped to form a genre while constantly redefining itself.

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