Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 1/22/2002
posted on 11/2001 By:
With Borknagar's résumé enlisting past and present musicians from such bands as Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Arcturnus, Immortal, Dimmu Borgir and Ulver. The metal conglomerates of the world should have known exactly what they were in store for from the perplexed mind of founding member Oystein Brun. The realm in which Brun dwells falls somewhere between madness and genius. Generally the same location where all great visionaries come together and play a relaxing game of solitaire. Within every listen of Borknagar's latest release Empiricism, I have heard new elements that passed previous listens by. This album is best heard under headphones to appreciate every nuance of design. If it's a vocal melody or a scale harmony or quite possibly a drumming pattern/fill. The overall complete intake of this disk is still far from sight. Empiricism follows all great Norwegian metal standards. Incorporating stellar musicianship with taste and innovation. Every musician within Borknagar holds metal substance in the palm of their hands. Intricate song structures, vast inlays of speed and melody deliver punishing parodies of epic. Vintersorg's vocal performance within Empiricism ranges from complete clean to full on death crush. He bends harmonies of clean into lines of stealth, following it up with demon growls summoned by the musical prowess of his peers. If you have that friend that just won't listen to anything but clean vocals and just cannot hear the genius that is death. This would be the perfect album to send their way. With Vintersorg's clean style outweighing his actual death vocals, but still delivering the vocals we have come to love by means of the guttural growl. This disk would be their perfect transition to the dark side. Combining both of the vocal styles into one. Bottom Line: Borknagar's Empiricism is musically a masterpiece. I originally did have a problem with the use of so many clean vocals. Reason being: that I have developed a standard of my own, that masterful metal should be delivered with a full-on death vocal attack. But like I mentioned before, I hear new deliveries and so many diversities upon each listen. I have no choice but to dissect this foker as a masterpiece. Buy this damn album, and then write a Minion Opinion for the site. I need to know what the masses have to say about Borknagar.
posted on 11/2001 By:
Truly magnificent!!! As I sit here in front of my computer absorbing the sounds I hear coming through my headphones, these are the first words to come to mind. I know there is a lot of kick ass metal out there these days, and like Diabolic will tell you time and time again, "Metal is in the finest state it has ever been in." To put it simply, stellar metal releases are coming my way from out of nowhere on a constant and continuous basis. The latest album to cross paths with the Metal Review Prophets is the newest musical offering from Norway's Borknagar entitled Empiricism. Having gone through an enormous amount of line up changes since 1995, Borknagar come at us in 2001 with a group of musicians that brilliantly display musical talent at it's highest level. There really isn't one element, for me anyway, that outshines the next. Nevertheless, when you take all of these elements and mix them together you come up with a beautifully crafted and very mature metal album. I've listened to this disc several times over the past week or so and every time I hear it I get this overwhelming feeling of happiness. Who ever said dark music couldn't make you feel happy? Those of you that aren't familiar with Borknagar, the sound they create is made up of a twofold guitar delivery that harmonizes majestically with the overlying keyboards that give this music it's dark and blackish feel. Needless to say we have another stellar drumming performance with bass playing which follows the beat of the drums more than the guitars and keys. All you bass players out there will be pleased when you are actually able to hear your instrument of choice on this album. It's not often that you find the bass guitar coming across so clearly on a metal release. Yes, the bass is always there, but those damn guitar players always want to be louder. That is not the case here. The all around production is state of the art considering all that is going on in these songs. Adding the final touches to this collection of professionalism is a vocal performance that is one of the most unique I've had the privilege of hearing. It consists of the now ever popular mixture of clean and dirty singing. The fact that these guys are from Norway should tell you that the deathish portion of the vocals is top of the line. It's what he does with his clean voice that gives me a chilling yet favorable feeling each time it comes through the speakers. The harmonies involved here are spectacular and even more so with a deathish track added underneath the existing multiple clean tracks. The last thing I'd like to touch on is the lyrics. I could very well be mistaken, but being this band resides east of the Atlantic it would be a safe bet that their primary language isn't English. But, after reading through the lyrics on several listens, I'd say these lyricists use the English language better than a lot of the American bands I listen to. Why is this? I think the answer is simple. If you're going to put so much effort into making music of this magnitude, there's no reason the words shouldn't be as equally impressive. These boys have done their homework and it has paid off on Empiricism. Buy this album and experience some of the best music of the new millennium. Need I say more? Favorite Tracks: Gods Of My World and The Stellar Dome
Photo Credit: Alf Borjesson & Asgeir Mickelson
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