BORKNAGAR (Norway) – Voices single / official video
Taken from Up North LP 2019
I somehow saw this coming for almost two weeks now, when the first single of the new album of the Norses of Borknagar Up North was released as a beautiful animated video with my countrymate and friend Costin Chioreanu taking care about the whole imagery and graphix. Shining video colors, a catchy chorus and a very radio friendly warm production on middle tempo rhythms suggerating a pale sense of viking heroism hidden in the groove together with discreet vintage pipe organ passages and some of the most renowed, I would even go further and call it iconic, clean vocals of the old Norwegian (black) metal scene, that is the short description of what I thought to be the new Borknagar album, to be released just today via Century Media, with the second single Voices also released today. Voices means the complete departure of Borknagar from any black or viking influences and their move into a more pronounced urban bleak progressive metal, still in dark tones and somehow infused with longing for unspoiled landscapes, but coming from an almost deserted urban environment. And while the longing is universal, nostalgia can be divisive and so there are the new Borknagar tunes. With a new single to comfort the listeners while being a hit radio song and one of the best, warm (call it even dark-pop) audio productions I have ever heard lately, all under the subtle panel of Jens Bogren, the mastermind behind the Fascination Street Studios, whose name is connected with many of the avantgarde or progressive albums released up north in the last decade (see all Enslaved albums from 2010 on, all Katatonia releases in the last two decades, my personal favorites Bombus or ultimately the latest Dimmu Borgir), Borknagar is here to deviate from the accepted norm, to provoke and renew! And the same way it happened with me back in 1995 with the tremendous Wildhoney of Tiamat, I got hooked!