Borknagar : Universal (2010)

Yo, apa khabar semua? Puas gua golek-golek tiba-tiba rasa nak buat review ah. Lagipun DtE ni dah nampak macam lemau aje (despite the fact Contramen just reviewed Suffercation few days ago). Gua selak-selak rak CD tadi nampak pulak CD Borknagar yang gua beli tahun lepas. Ok gak ni buat review. Here goes.

Universal is the 8th full length album by Borknagar and was released in 2010. This release is also their first with Indie Recording after so many years with Century Media. So what’s up with Universal? After several years of not keeping up with Borknagar I finally managed to get my hand on this release (a gift from my Norwegian friend to be precise) and I’d say while I actually missed Vortex and Garm presence, I think Borknagar is in a good hand with Vintersorg on vocals. I was quite surprised to learned Vortex made a special appearance n this album, but we’ll get to that later okay. Jens Ryland after a long absence made his return to Borknagar in this album and David Kinkade replaced Asgeir Mickelson who left prior to recording of Universal.
1.     Havoc
2.     Reason
3.     The Stir of Seasons
4.     For a Thousand Years to Come
5.     Abrasion Tide
6.     Fleshflower
7.     Worldwide
8.     My Domain

Some version contains bonus track Coalition of Elements and Loci

What’s up with Universal? The album is pretty much continues the theme and mood from previous albums: cosmos, nature, mythology, you know the usual Borknagar stuffs they introduced since The Archaic Course, to which I personally think fits Borknagar very well and separate them from other bands out there. What? You don’t get me? Borknagar plays Black / Progressive Metal, although I’m not sure if there are actually Black Metal traces left since the first album.

Universal is a laidback album, I dare say. Neither too fast nor too slow. And I really love the hammond organ by Lars Nedland, kinda reminding me of 70s rock. New drummer, David Kinkade executed nice drum beats and clean playing to which I really enjoy. Not too technical, but almost ‘there’ I believe. Guitars by Brun and Ryland proved that they are a good partner as I heard lots of inspiring riff throughout the album (especially the clean guitars!). Tyr on the other hand is a bit upsetting as his bass is buried in the mix. Vintersorg did a well job in providing vocals…until, Vortex made an appearance in My Domain, my perception went all wrong (but both are very good I must say!). Oh crap, they really have to get Vortex back (which they did!) and pair him with Vintersorg. Vortex in the other hand, while sounded very impressive he actually kinda burnout, unlike during the Archaic Course period (age factor?could be). Oi did you know Nedland actually sang and played drums in Fleshflower? That bugger can actually sing. Now Borknagar has 3 singers, that is just fucking sickkkkkkkkkk!

My personal pick would be: Havoc, For A Thousand Years To Come, Worldwide, My Domain.


-Hammond organ brought in a whole new perspective in Borknagar music,making their tendency towards progressive metal even clearer.
– They still stick to the same theme and I’m never get tired of it.
-This is Borknagar, the same band I listened few years ago. Nothing much has changed,yay!
-My Domain really rocked my socks off! Vortex should have never left Borknagar for Dummy Borgay.. I mean Dimmu Borgir.
-Check out the bonus track Loci, love the choirs!


-Tyr bass is fucking buried in the mix, whyyyyyyyyyy!
-I don’t really see the point of letting Nedland drumming for Fleshflower, it’s kinda disrupting the album flow. Good job on the vocals though.

Borknagar can be contacted here and here.

Jap jap nak bakar line…
Muahahahahaha nice kannnnn!

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