Borknagar – Borknagar (1996)

The 2021 remaster of this cold classic is admittedly my first brush with Borknagar. I’ve known the name for seemingly aeons, but as is the way with this game (as with many others), time is my greatest enemy. The production was a little too crisp for me, if I could be so bold in announcing such; I had to turn down the treble a bit on my stereo to stop the harshness of the cymbals and guitar fuzz grating my head. However, with that out of the way, I fully enjoyed listening to this record for the first time.

The production, despite the above complaint, holds a welcoming density that gives the compositions weight, without drowning out the complimentary keyboard and synth work. Suprisingly, after a brush with a lengthy piece earlier in the tracklist, hammy instrumental interludes were kept to a minimum, and the punishing black metal flowed fully.

Vocally, its worth noting the particularly hellish screeches of the front man, as well as the occasional use of more traditional sung vocals, which have a heavy Norse feel. Great stuff all round!