Borknagar
Origin


4.0
excellent

Review

by Gmaj USER (30 Reviews)
October 10th, 2006 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Norwegian black metal experimentalists deliver a truly grandiose acoustic folk album.

The icy climate of Norway has always proven a fertile breeding ground for the world’s best black metal bands. From Ulver, to Mayhem, to Immortal and the legendary Burzum, Norway has, for a still unknown reason, been the birthplace and mecca of metal’s darkest subgenre. Borknagar have continued this legacy, proving the blackened apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The band have obviously earned respect from their forefathers, seeing as a number of illustrious black metal all-stars such as Garm from Ulver and Vortex of Dimmu Borgir fame have graced Borknagar’s past albums. The tradition continues as with this, Borknagar’s first all acoustic album, they are joined once again by Satyricon and Emperor bassist, Tyr, who was unable to join then for 2004’s Epic. All of the black metal cameos may seem like a gimmick at first, but Borknagar is, in fact, a legitimate (or trve, in the genre’s lexicon) black metal band, especially when they are playing the majestic folk music that is presented here.

Origin is introduced by the beautiful acoustic guitar arpeggios and accompanying flute melodies of “Earth Imagery.” This combination of string and woodwind instruments sets the pace for the entire album, with vocalist Vintersong’s soft croon matching the instruments perfectly, lending a grim, icy tone to the disc. The addition of backing vocals by keyboardist Lars A. Nedland and the further backing of a choir add even more weight to Borknagar’s already bleak sound. The flourishes of flutist and woodwind legend Steinar Ofsdal make already solid tracks such as “Grains,” “Oceans Rise,” and “Cynosure” even more powerful. The grandiose sound is furthered even more by the additions of the violin and cello, which truly shine on the aforementioned “Oceans Rise” and the pseudo-symphonic “White.” The enchanting melody of the final track, “The Spirit of Nature,” would be right at home in any of The Lord of the Rings films.

This is perhaps the best progressive/black/folk (or whatever you want to call it) albums released this year. Borknagar knows how to paint a truly vivid image with their music, employing just about every instrument they could to place the listener in a bleak, somber state. I often felt as if I were wandering through the forests of Borknagar’s home country of Norway while listening to some of the more tranquil sections of the album. Origin is an absolute must buy for anyone looking for a change of pace from the normal black metal formula. This is beautiful music played by an obviously accomplished collective of musicians. Best when listened to at night, preferably during a snow storm in the dead of winter.



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user ratings (116)
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Det_Nosnip
October 11th 2006


374 Comments


Yep, this record rocks. I still think that Vortex fit Borknagar best, though. Something about Vintersorg's tone always sounds odd to me.This Message Edited On 10.11.06

wikuk
October 13th 2006


1110 Comments


WOW! I really didn't know they released a record today. I really must buy this, since I lately am obsessed with their work (Future Reminiscence, The Genuine Pulse, The Stellar Dome)

Awesome..

Oh and good review ;)

Apocalypticon
October 20th 2006


22 Comments


Good review. When it comes to Borknagar Garm > Vintersorg on vocals.

RePENT
October 25th 2006


1 Comments


I kind of disagree with the last line of this review - I have heard this album, and unlike all of Borknagar's previous works, I truly believe that this work is more of a summer piece.

For those who have heard it : Imagine the main melody of 'The Spirit of Nature.' When I had this playing on my headphones with the sun shining down, filtering through the leaves of trees that swayed in the gentle breeze as I walked, I began to really understand the so-called "organic" feeling and intent of the artists. I think this album goes best with nature in its most potent form, during spring or summer, during the day.

NOT a winter album. NOT a night album.

Although it's still great in any of those conditions.

Thorne
October 26th 2006


3 Comments


I can see what you say about the summery aspects of the album. Although for me, all the neo-folk and norse folk-eqsue sounding albums will always suit the bleak winter atmosphere from Norway.

And I have to say I would have loved it if Garm sung on this album, I dont feel Vortex would have fit the softer sound. Vintersorg is a good vocalist, but has not as much character to his tone of voice. If that makes any sense.This Message Edited On 10.26.06

Darkside18
December 5th 2006


20 Comments


I just bought this album, it's amazing, I love it :D

Great review

lanchege
April 24th 2007


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is such a good album, I can't even describe it. Vintersorg is a great singer.

Hawks
March 29th 2008


73696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really like this album. Borknagar goes away from their normal Black Metal style for an acoustic Folk album and they still sound great. I love Earth Imagery.

ikvallen
April 10th 2008


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is fricken amazing.

White is an epic song.

Hawks
April 10th 2008


73696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree that this is great, but its not even close to their best. Get The Olden Domain or Empiricism if you want some of their best material.

istaros
April 23rd 2008


310 Comments


^quite. after i'd finished listening to this for the first time, i didn't feel nearly as impacted and injected as i had after those albums. i felt weighed down by the cosmos after listening to The Archaic Course. dizzy and molecularly torn apart after listening to Empiricism. inspired and enveloped after listening to The Olden Domain.

Origin is a good album, in fact, for the kind of sound/genre it occupies, it's spectacular. but Borknagar is such a good band that even this is nowhere near being the best of what they have to offer.

as for the vocalist, Vintersorg's always gotten on my nerves too. i know he's talented, but just the way he sounds, the timbre or whatever. grates me. i've gotten used to it though. and i do think Borknagar's history of vocalists has been unsually serendipitous - Rygg's smoothness and lilt was perfect for the first two albums, Hestnaes' weird semi-crazy carnivalesque wail was perfect for the sound of Archaic, etc. Vintersorg, though i still don't care for him too much in general, i do think he was the best vocalist out of those three to use for *this* album. it just fits.

Hawks
April 24th 2008


73696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really like Vintersorg. Nobody is going to beat Garm though. I dont think its possible. He's actually my favorite Black Metal vocalist. At least when he's doing Black Metal. I didnt really like Vortex in this band. He's not really good as the lead vocalist. I like him more when he's used in certain parts. Like in Dimmu Borgir.

istaros
April 24th 2008


310 Comments


i like Vortex a lot, but only for certain songs. i think he fit (the original version of, obviously) "Oceans Rise" absolutely perfectly. Rygg, despite being one of my favorite vocalists in all of musical history, black metal or otherwise, would have caused songs such as that one and "Ad Noctum" to have an immensely different feel

Vintersorg will probably always annoy me to some degree. same goes for the guy from Solefald, the one who was in Spiral Architect, and especially the one from Deathcab for Cutie :X he brings me to levels of rage and hatred that metal vocalists can only dream of

myOrganicShadow
May 28th 2008


9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didnt really like this album but I must admit I'm a bit new to this band, so maybe it will grow on me.



I also really like Vortex as a vocalist, especially on Archaic Course (which is my favorite by them). I picked up Quintessence hoping there would be more Vortex vocals like Archaic Course, but it was a huge disappointment as he sounded nothing like it on that album.



Anyone know if Vortex has done any other projects where he sounds like he did on Archaic course?

FR33L0RD
May 29th 2008


1474 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Im intrigue by this band and album, i might like this

(only album i have is the first one and only listen to it once)

Hawks
May 30th 2008


73696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You should get The Olden Domain. Thats their best album.

FR33L0RD
May 30th 2008


1474 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^^^^

thank,i will

myOrganicShadow
June 18th 2008


9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the suggestion Hawks, just picked up The Olden Domain and I'm really digging it.

Even this album has grown on me a lot since I first got it. I'd still really like to find something else were Vortex sounds as great as he did on Archaic Course.

Hawks
June 20th 2008


73696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problem. Try and get Sideshow Symphonies by Arcturus if you want more of Vortex.

TeamExcelcior
August 10th 2008


244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is sick nasty. Without Vintersorg's stellar performance it probably wouldn't have worked out as well methinks. Tyr was really good too. I likes him a lot.



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