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Borknagar - Winter Thrice

Published January 20 2016

=Staff's pick

The Rhymes Of The Mountain*
Winter Thrice
Cold Runs The River*
When Chaos Calls*

Genre Progressive Black Metal
Tracks 8
Øystein G. Brun
Running time 50 Min.
Jens F. Ryland
Label Century Media
ICS Vortex
Release January 22, 2016
Baard Kolstad
Country Norway
Lars A. Nedland
Producer -
Similar artists ---

Additional vocals by ICS Vortex, Lars A. Nedland and Kristoffer Rygg.

Even if this outfit in a distant past, about 2 decades ago, started out as a black metal band, only the deep roots of that genre still remain since much has changed along the road. According to me personally quite often for the better, because Borknagar is one of few bands today that proves that it's possible to play fast and hard music while mostly stick to clean vocals. Sometimes it may even seem unusual and against the grain to have the instruments, and specifically the drums, play fiercely and simultaneously have the vocals come out quite tranquil and affective.

However, it's maybe exactly those features that make Borknagar to something interesting and not just a random band in the vast jungle of bands without ability to be innovating. They might not be the sole designers of what they do, but at least there's not a plethora of bands who do things stylistically similar to this unit. Far from all parts of the songs are speedy and I think that the band is in a great way capable to vary its performance in a wide spectrum within metal music and there are many different flavors on this record, like progressive parts, the original seeds of black metal of course and some folk metal influences as well.

Vintersorg doesn't have the technically most perfected voice in heavy music, but at the same time I think that his tone of voice, both in terms of clean and aggressive vocals, still is something that fits faultlessly to the music behind it. On some points spread out on the record he gets some assistance by a pair of fellow band members and also by the somewhat legendary Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg, although I, without a doubt, would have preferred that he had done pretty much all bits and pieces by himself because he certainly knows what he is doing and what to achieve with his emotional appearance.

This album contains a bunch of nice hooks, really fast sections with blasting drumming and even if the vocal melodies aren't traditionally catchy in the true meaning of the word, they still have an attraction because of their great passion and affection. The combination between heavy and fast songs on one hand and melodic and progressive on another is quite remarkable and is one big piece of the puzzle to why I think that Winter Thrice is a great effort. I believe that Borknagar has yet again been able to put out a strong album and to make things even more clear for the uninitiated I have to point out that you actually don't even have to dig black metal to find appealing stuff on this release.








8 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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