Andreas Hedlund, aka Vintersorg, aka Mr. V (if you believe his Wikipedia page) was a prime component of my re-entry into extreme metal. After falling in with Opeth’s Morningrise I wasn’t sure where to head next, so I went to the record store and maxed out my credit card randomly picking up a bunch of CDs I thought looked cool. The first one I listened to was Empiricism by Borknagar, and while my response to the music was lukewarm (more an issue with the production than the actual songwriting) the vocals hooked me immediately. As fate would have it one of the other CDs I picked up was Vintersorg’s Cosmic Genesis, and listening to that I began to get the sense of just how much versatility and talent this guy had.
So much versatility and talent it’s taken at least seven different bands to contain him so for this week’s Nine Circles ov… let’s dive into some of the music created by, driven buy, or enhanced by the man some (I don’t know who) know as Mr. V. Continue reading
There’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
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