BORKNAGAR – Fall

album cover
art by Eliran Kantor
  • 9.5/10
    BORKNAGAR - Fall - 9.5/10
9.5/10

Summary

Label: Century Media Records
Release date: February 23, 2024

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Five years after the masterpiece True North, Borknagar releases their twelfth studio album Fall. For thirty years, the band has explored a vast territory of their own Black, Progressive, and Folk Metal. Already the majestic artwork of Eliran Kantor hints at the themes of this album: the wilderness and the forces that inhabit the natural realm, perhaps as a metaphor for human feelings.

Fall Into Grace

Fall continues the musical journey started with True North but offers even more profound musical perspectives. As if, wandering away from the northern landscapes already outlined in the eleventh album, this twelfth release was venturing even further North, into a darker land, where human presence is less and less felt. The opening title “Summits” already plunges the listener into these icy waters. While Borknagar has a very melodic side, the drums still carry the heaviness of the composition, allowing the guitars and orchestrations to expand in endless forms most beautiful.

“Nordic Anthem” is probably the simplest and refined track of the album with Lars A. Nedland’s vocals taking the lead. Throughout the album, it is once again remarkable how the two voices of Nedland and ICS Vortex work together, completing each other to the point they become indistinguishable yet unique. Borknagar’s mastery of composition is found in their ability to blend a multitude of melodic lines while keeping the result clear and haunting.

The song “Moon” still surprises the listener with incredibly epic soli and a form of catchiness, for lack of a better term, unusual to Black Metal and derived. In a different atmosphere “The Wild Lingers” is also an enchanting moment. The discreete orchestrations in the background elevate the whole song. “Northward” bring the album to a close in a last surge of agressive vocals and monumental riffs.

Final Notes

On Fall, every song is a multi-faceted gem, carefully carved by every musician. Borknagar delivers a mysterious, complex work of art, whose qualities are both immediate but also hidden and discovered throughout many listening sessions.

Fall – Tracklist

  1. Summits
  2. Nordic Anthem
  3. Afar
  4. Moon
  5. Stars Ablaze
  6. Unraveling
  7. The Wild Lingers
  8. Northward

Borknagar – Lineup

Øystein G. Brun – Clean and Electric Guitars
Lars A. Nedland – Keys and Vocals
ICS Vortex – Bass and Vocals
Jostein Thomassen – Lead Guitars
Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow – Drums

Author

  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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