Century Media
Release date: June 29, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Norway’s Borknagar has been a reliable player on the Black/Dark Metal scene for years now, following up their classics The Archaic Course and The Olden Domain with quality releases all along the way. Epic certainly continues that tradition, combining front man Oystein Brun’s trademark melodies – this man can create cold and icy soundscapes like very few others – with complex guitar harmonies, Opeth-like moods, and creative drumming from Asgeir Mickelson (of Spiral Architect fame).

Brun’s music is certainly not very catchy, and Borknagar has never been an “easy” band to listen to … this is the same case now, although tracks like “Future Reminiscence” (especially the ending part), “Quintessence,” and the Emperor-influenced “Resonance” are on the catchier side. “Resonance” is also probably the best song on the album, and other highlights include the awesome instrumental “The Weight of the Wind,” “Sealed Chambers of Electricity” (check out the beautiful mid-section), and the schizophrenic “Relate [Dialogue].” Whoa! Hah!

There are weaker tracks here too, though, and neither “Cyclus” nor “Origin” will ever be essential to this writer’s well being. The album may have benefited more so by being shortened a bit; nearly an hour is a long time when every second of music needs to do so much work, as is the case here.

Playing-wise, Mickelson’s drumming has already been noted above, and overall, the musicianship is far above average (you have to be pretty darn good just to remember these songs by heart!). Brun’s voice has sounded stronger before, though, but this is a minor complaint.

Many Metal bands speak in big words about being true, ignoring trends, etc., etc. Borknagar is one band that truly can be described as hands-on true to what they do, as well as being constantly innovative in their harmonies and melody work. They deserve praise for that, and a very good way to support these hard-working Norsemen is to go out and buy this album! It is definitely worth the cash.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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