Album Review: Borknagar – “Winter Thrice”

borknagarwinterthriceThere’s something to be said for longevity in underground metal: As tastes change quickly and the bar is continuously raised for listeners’ thresholds for dissonance and technicality, it’s becoming increasingly harder to find bands who find a formula, stick with it, and refine it to a razor-sharp edge over time. Norway’s Borknagar have not only tread the thin line between folk-tinged progressive metal and black metal — they’ve practically made it nonexistent over 20+ years of existence. Their tenth album, Winter Thrice, feels like a retrospective of their career without crossing into nostalgia or retreading past glories and is their most satisfactory effort so far. Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov… Borknagar

borknagar

From starting out as a band who seemingly arrived late to the party of Norwegian black metal to being “Hey, their singer was the opera guy in Dimmu Borgir!” Borknagar have always seemed to be on the outer fringes of whatever movements in metal happened in their country. Too proggy for the kvlt kids and too blastbeat-ridden for the prog crowd, Borknagar have occupied a very strange niche in the metal community alongside outfits like Arcturus, Enslaved, Vintersorg, and Solefald. (All of these have had past or present members of Borknagar, surprise!) Continue reading