Urd NorwayCountry Of Origin: Norway
Borknagar - Urd

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The Beauty Of Dead Cities
The Earthling
The Plains Of Memories
Mount Regency
The Winter Eclipse
In A Deeper World

Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 2012
Label: Century Media Records
Categories: Black, Progressive

MetalBite Review by Adam M on 4/1/2012
Borknagar have returned for another Progressive and Folk laced release and a good one it is. There are numerous mood shifts that make this album constantly interesting at every corner. The combination of clean, melodic vocals with the occasional Black Metal rasp makes for an interesting concoction. At times, the band sounds like a pure Black Metal band and at others a more ballad driven atmospheric act. Regardless, the band sounds like theyíre laying the foundation for ancient structures at almost every corner of this very strong effort.

The early portions of the release arenít amazing, but a very strong start for the release in general. 'Frostrite' has more clean vocals than almost any song to be found and is one of the most memorable tracks as well. The release is littered with strong tracks though including a Metallica cover that is probably even superior to the original. In terms of innovation and depth, some of both can be found here. The band expands on the sound of their previous albums slightly, but really maintains what albums like personal favourite "Quintessence" great. The band is generally quite reliable and proves to be easily stronger than the related outfit Vintersorg on "Urd". In terms of musical performances, there is little to be faulted, but epic nature that they form together that is the most noteworthy aspect of this album.

Progressive, yet melodic, the album still doesnít have quite as many stellar moments as something like "Axioma Ethica Odini" by Enslaved, but itís only a small step below that. This album is very worthy to anyone that likes inventive and thoughtful music that is wrapped within a very structured framework. There anything overly complex on "Urd", but it is interesting enough to keep you constantly coming back for more.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 9
Atmosphere: 9
Production: 9
Innovation: 8
Overall: 8.5

Rating: 8.7 out of 10