Borknagar – True North

You are currently viewing Borknagar – True North

(Century Media Records)

Συνολική Διάρκεια: 59:10

It’s amazing how BORKNAGAR don’t produce bad music at all. Like other bands at our times, they are constantly and rapidly evolving. They change their sound without losing their identity and without feeling like ‘something is missing’ nowadays.

Is BORKNAGAR’s line up on “True North” satisfactory?

BORKNAGAR  has not been that consistent in their line up for the past months. Their past vocalist, Vintersorg, has left. Replacing by Vortex! Vortex is complemented by the band’s keyboardist, Lars Nedland (who has his own band, SOLEFALD, where he also does awesome vocals). Jens F. Ryland, Baard Kolstad (Leprous, etc.), which have been replaced by Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow and Jostein Thomassen respectively. All of them are more than capable to replace the members that left the band.

What about “Simen Hestnæs”, mostly known as Vortex? Many were afraid that Vorted would not be able to handle an entire album on his own, providing both clear and black metal vocals. His clear voice has evolved, being more melodic and epic than ever. Songs like “The Fire That Burns” and especially “Up North”, showcase exactly that! He is someone who can give you chills down your spine!

Is “True North” an album that will please the band’s older fans and give birth to younger ones?

Many will feel weird reading this previous sentence. “Did they change their sound? Did they give up Black Metal for other safer and easier paths?”, one may think. Well, no. The music is mainly progressive and less black metal than ever, yes. This album has some black metal parts though, even if they are scattered, and don’t last long. But why isn’t that bad? Because the feeling that the whole album exudes, is as if it came out of the old times. Trying to evolve your sound, while being part of an idiom like Black Metal is not the easiest one can do. It can fail miserably. But BORKNAGAR does exactly that, and in the most emphatic way, while keeping this “Black Metal feeling” also. And most of all, it’s their most varied album that takes you through the snowy landscapes and icy mountains of the North and back, producing many emotions during that trip. More than  epic in “Up North”, while being progressive in “The fire that burns”, and  melodic and catchy in “Wild Father’s Heart”. This album is also smart, Folk, Avant-Garde, frozen, Extreme / Black. It contains almost everything. Oh, and the riffs? Melodic, epic, great.

Undoubtedly a great release, varied, that will excite both younger and older fans and listeners alike, True North has to be one of the best metal releases for 2019! A release that will take you north and make you wanting to listen to it endlessly! Hail BORKNAGAR, Kings in the North!

Rating: 9/10

George Kourouleas

Related Link: BORKNAGAR – Official Page

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