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UNIVERSAL review/s

Discussion in 'Borknagar' started by Øystein G. Brun, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Erik Tiwaz

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    Well, I'd say that reviews are still important, atleast from a promotional view point, especially reviews from the printed press. Digital zines are far too often neglecting to see what kind of impact they have, not only to the bands but also towards their own trade. They very often only consist of a group of people with an interest in music, nothing more. They do in most cases not have an editor, and in the few instances where there is such a person, the person is not doing his/her job. In my view, a review should always have more substance than that of an opinion, it should for the better part of its weight contain a type of insight that is applicable. The main focus of the review should be on the measurable factors, first and foremost the quality of production, the quality of musicianship and the quality of the composition itself.
    Most reviewers are biased in one way or another, which is to be expected, and it is very important for a reviewer to be aware of this, and only use this bias to spice the review, not base the article solely on a preconceived attitude that will only come across as misconstrued, misinformed and malefic in nature.
     
  2. Ond

    Ond Borkky!

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  3. Jens Fredrik Ryland

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    Well, I kinda think that reviewers who point out that we "don't live up to our role as true norwegian black metallers" have understood it! We don't he he. So if they, give us 1 point because of that, I kinda don't care...

    Got this from the worst one " “Reason” contains a well-done solo.", so thank you :)
     
  4. Alteredmindeath

    Alteredmindeath Wasteland Survivor

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    progish Borknagar is awesome, leave the true true stuff up to Varg Vikerness.
     
  5. ErikSL

    ErikSL groove junkie

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    The only reviews I take seriously are for videogames or expensive products, so I know not to waste my money. But music I always take them with a grain of salt. One of my other favorite bands Baroness got some terrible reviews, and some amazing reviews when they came out with their last record. It's now one of my all time favorites, a complete work of art.

    So yea, reviews are neat to read and give a bit of insight, but I wouldn't take it any more seriously then that.

    On another note, Havoc is fucking awesome. Like all Bork material, the first listen doesn't mean anything. After the 5th time of hearing Havoc, its already a favorite. WORD!
     
  6. ShadarLogoth

    ShadarLogoth Long Dead God

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    I won't be surprised if its "cool" and trendy to not like borknagar now, all metal bands with a solid history generally hit a phase where whether or not the music is quality, its cool to shit on them in reviews. i think new and unexperienced reviewers use this as a chance to get noticed, "hey, look at me, im so cool and underground i don't like what is generally considered as quality music".

    all i know is i'm really digging havoc, and from the snippets in the videos, i'm going to really appreciate this whole album.
     
  7. Øystein G. Brun

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    Hey!

    In the light of the descussions above, album scores in magazines definitly don't mean too much either. Anyway, we recently got some scores from some magazines:

    Metal Hammer Ger: 7/7
    Rock Hard Ger: 8,5/10
    Scream magazine: 5/6
    Aardshock: 88/100

    All the best!
     
  8. Astral and Arcane

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    Indeed, I don't pay much attention to any reviews, especially with a band like Borknagar, who's albums usually take a great deal of time to truly appreciate...Time that reviewers don't have to devote to each and every album.
     
  9. Drummer Dave Kinkade

    Drummer Dave Kinkade I'm in the band

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    I hate when people say "that movie sucked", before Ive even seen it. Just like all these dicks told me that the new Fear Factory would suck. That album is by far what I would call the BEST piece of music they have ever done. Go check it out.
     
  10. mjollnir1965

    mjollnir1965 Member

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    Well...you know what they say, opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one and they all stink! lol Bottom line here is that most reviewers try to compare a band's new album to it's predecessor. That is wrong to do. Each album is a progression from the last. You have this crowd that wants Olden Domain II, III, IV or a Till Fjalls II, etc. Some people do not want bands to progress. I say, fuck the reviewers....what's important is if the fans like it!
     
  11. Erik Tiwaz

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  12. Erik Tiwaz

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  13. AnTz0r

    AnTz0r Crimson King

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    some weird sentences where I was wondering what he meant, but here you go, quick translation.

    Borknagar is a black metal band founded in 1994 by the Norwegian guitarist Øystein Brun, where he is the only permanent member of the group. For all albums Brun uses various guest musicians, predominantly from the Norwegian black metal scene. The amount of singers was limited to three in all those years, and the new album Universal features Andreas Hedland, better known as Vintersorg, for the fourth time.

    After the acoustic album Origin from 2006, on this album we hear a revisit to the familiar sound, en is the famous intelligent mix of black metal, viking metal and folk metal displayed. By the expressive voice of Vintersorg, a reference to the own band of the vocalist is quite obvious, although Borknagar is quite a bit heavier and busier for most of the time. For instance, the album starts off with the rapid 'Havoc', where swift bass drums are on the foreground, and is fighting for attention together with the sampled choir vocals. In the chorus, Hedlund uses his normal folky voice that sounds layer as in most songs due to the many overdubs. In 'Reason', the trick is repeated, although the song is a bit less busy. The quiet 'The Stir of Seasons' with some folky parts is a song that would not be misplaced on a Vintersorg album. The vocalist gives a top performance on this track and even manages to gives one a light form of goosebumps. After that, we get into heavier territories again with 'For A Thousand Years To Come', although the jazzy interlude is quite special here. The classically sounding intro of 'Fleshflower' fits nicely in the musical stramien of Borknagar. When 'Worldwide' starts after this with the sound of a Hammond organ that is so popular again these days, the picture is complete again. Here too are the sampled choirs prominently present, like in the last song 'My Domain'.

    Universal is an album that doesn't sound nice at each moment of the day due to its thick and busy sound, but can offer some fine support when you're in an active mood. The album is for sure not worse than previous efforts and won't disappoint Borknagar fans. Borknagar have delivered quality material for eight albums, where there is much to enjoy for Vintersorg fans as well. Although at the end of the album, some listening fatigue creeps in.
     
  14. Elvina

    Elvina Tree-Hugging Space Elf

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  15. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Strange review, I've got the feeling that most reviewers really didn't know the musical genius of Borknagar before this album :rolleyes: . I'm very curious about this 'listening fatigue', makes you wonder if that guy has listened to any uneXpect or Diablo Swing Orchestra :lol: .

    From: http://hardrockhaven.net/online/2010/borknagar-universal/

    Borknagar Universal
    February 14, 2010 by Managing Editor
    by Trevor Portz
    Staff Writer​

    Borknagar are a unique extreme metal beast. They present a paradox applicable to only a few groups in this great metal world. Unlike so many bands of their ilk, with each release, fans go in knowing what to expect, yet also without any idea of what’s coming. Ludicrous as that sounds, it’s the absolute truth. You see, every Borknagar album (with the possible exception of Origin) comes with a set of given values, but how the band will take these and construct, arrange, deconstruct, and rearrange them remains a constant variable. Borknagar fans expect complex melodies, multilayered instrumentation, regularly shifting dynamics, and of course a perfect balance between the band’s black metal and progressive sides, but still want it presented in a way they haven’t heard before. Taking heed, as they have with their previous releases, Borknagar have yet again delivered an album of beautiful contradictions with 2010’s Universal.
    The eight tracks that make up Universal flow so well that they appear more as movements in a larger epic rather than isolated events. This is not to say that the songs don’t have their own identities, but they all serve to illustrate how befitting the album title actually is. With each track, another piece of the overall Universal picture is revealed.
    Opening track “Havoc” eases listeners in with a slow, quiet intro, gradually building tension before exploding just past the minute mark. From here, we are enveloped in pure, multilayered black metal brilliance. Replete with cinematic flourishes (such as the doubling of guitars with voices, whether real or synthesized), harsh metal screams (including vocalist Vintersorg’s new foray into a more guttural, death metal growl), and melodic choruses that have become one of Borknagar’s trademarks, the song acts almost as an overture to both Universal and Borknagar’s music in general.
    Following in an equally spectacular fashion, “Reason” flaunts keyboardist Lars A. Nedland’s skill for countermelody (with occasional Jethro Tull-type flairs), and also showcases new drummer David Kinkade. Kinkade’s style is reminiscent of predecessor Asgeir Michelson, but he also brings his own style to the mix, ensuring that he will be noticed.
    “The Stir of Seasons” throws traditional metal song structure away with its lengthy instrumental passages and sporadic clean vocal breaks. Oddly enough, this is followed immediately by “For a Thousand Years,” which features some of the most traditional metal riffing on any Borknagar release. Of course, with its incorporation of clean-vocaled verses and harsh choruses, and inclusion of an extended instrumental section—complete with bass solo—traditional seems a bit of a misnomer. Though all tracks do a fair job, these two in particular show just how much band founder and leader Øystein Brun allows his bandmates to shine equally, a quality not common in most band with an obvious “leader.”
    “Abrasion Tide” and “Worldwide” are both solid compositions, if not standout tracks. They surround, however, what could be one of Borknagar’s strongest songs yet, “Fleshflower.” With detuned guitars and what could almost be described as ’80s new wave-esque vocals, the song is highlighted by its rapid changes. Whereas Borknagar tend to let things progress slowly over extended song lengths, “Fleshflower” sees the band take an almost Queen-like approach of firing rapidly between sections over just three short minutes. If Origin was borne of the band’s wish to focus on their melodic, mellow side, perhaps now there’s a chance for an album of short, complex prog metal bursts.
    Closing out the record is “My Domain,” which features the return of vocalist I.C.S. Vortex after a near 10-year absence. Though arguably not as technically perfect at Vintersorg, I.C.S.’s vocals helped define the Borknagar sound and slide seamlessly back into the mix. With the complex arrangements going on in all of their music, it would be interesting to see both vocalists on stage together, though it’s hard to say how well their respective egos would tolerate this. Nevertheless, it’s great to mix things up and bring back a slice of Borknagar’s past.
    While Universal may be yet another masterpiece in a long line of stellar releases by Borknagar, it’s also hard to say whether it is their magnum opus. It seems more likely that the band will somehow manage to outdo themselves yet again on their next release, whenever that may come. But for now, take solace in the fact that Universal lives up to its bold title, and that Borknagar’s “Genuine Pulse” is pounding stronger than ever.

    - - -

    This is probably the best review of the album I've read, the guy knows what he's talking about! I liked it so much that I highlighted what were the most important parts for me.

    And do notice the one that is in bold, italics and underlined :headbang: :kickass: . (Hint Borknagar, hint ;) ).
     
  16. Qtulhu

    Qtulhu Mad Metal Maniac

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    Remember that reviews should not be entirely positive. Professional reviewer writes about pros and cons of the album. They don't just praise albums and they don't just bash albums (unless album really sucks). Fans of the band will praise the album and will (mostly) write about pros of it. Haters will bash it and journalists are somewhere in the middle. Some reviewers like it more but they can't really say it's a perfect album. That doesn't mean they don't like it. Some like it less and they will write more about cons of the album. That review isn't bad because it doesn't entirely bash the album but talks about pros and cons of Universal.
     
  17. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Yeah I know, I was a reviewer myself for more than two years. However, I don't think the review is that good because I felt there were too many comparisons between Borknagar and Vintersorg. When one makes a review, one should listen to the entire discography of a band before making it. At least that's what I think and did, and I felt that the reviewer was entirely new to Borknagar, to the point that he did not mention Simen's name in the review. That says a lot IMO.
     
  18. Allfader

    Allfader Kvelding

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    I think that happens cause for most metalheads there are '2' Borknagars : the 'first' one lives until Quintessence, then 'was born' the new one with Empiricism. The First is basically black metal with viking/folk influences and some progressive hints. The second is progressive metal mixed with some black metal and some hints of folk. The second also features a singer that is very different from the ones of the 'first' incarnation.

    In a way, it's a good review, since the guy just heard the album and liked it, without too many expectations. It's not good in a sense of comparison with Vintersorg (something totally different to my ears).
     
  19. AnTz0r

    AnTz0r Crimson King

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    ooh unexpect, they were supposed to have a new album out soon too!
     
  20. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Yeah, usually they're either pre or post Vintersorg. I'm both, I love every stage of Borknagar :) . Yes, you do have a point there, it's good (I guess) that someone new to the band liked it :) .

    Do you know who met Syriak and Landrix and got to listen to two songs of the new album? ;) (Check my FlickR account—link is on my signature—).
     

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