Quintessence NorwayCountry Of Origin: Norway
Borknagar - Quintessence

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MB Rating: 7
[1 Vote(s)]

User Rating: 7.9
[106 Vote(s)]
Rivalry Of Phantoms
The Presence Of Ominous
Ruins Of The Future
Inner Landscape
Icon Dreams
Genesis Torn

Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 2000
Label: Century Media Records
Categories: Black, Progressive
7.9 out of 10 / 106 vote(s)

MetalBite Review by Luka on 5/3/2001
So what do Borknagar have in store for us the fourth time around? I dare not say their most professional, but "Quintessence" is certainly their most likeable album yet. Drowning in soupy synths and amazing melodies, the beautifully crafted songs of "Quintessence" instantly grab the listenerís attention and keep you enthralled straight throughout. There are too many instrument layers here to absorb everything in the first listen, and itís a pleasure listening to it again and again.

As always, the lyrics are very elaborate but too vague, youíre never certain what the hell heís singing about. Spiritual dimensions, ruins of the future, strange dreams, the whole supernatural deal... All meaningless squabble if you ask me, we may criticize nu-metal bands for singing about crap and pretending theyíre angry and whatever, but at least itís something relevant to real life, more than I can say for this. A lot of work is spent on the words but Iím never too sure what theyíre about or why the hell I should care about it.

The singing is another thing that bothers me, the annoying multi-vocal layers that, when all mixed together, end up sounding like some fucked up choir. The "reputed" singer I.C.S. Vortex (he sings in Dimmu Borgir and Covenant too, I personally think he sucks) tries hard to avoid the traditional black metal rasp but doesnít do a good job. The singing ends up sounding cheesy as hell, and the studio vocal effects donít help either.

In the end, the music is the only good thing about "Quintessence". The singer really turns me off and so do the lyrics, hire a new singer or at least sing with out studio effects Ďcuz I would not buy another Borknagar album like this.

Bottom Line: Really awesome melodies try to help, but the vocals really bring everything down.

Rating: 7 out of 10