BORKNAGAR – Fall (Century Media Records)

  Van Muylem    23 februari 2024

Fall includes 8 majestic tracks across 54 epic minutes of playing time, once again brilliantly mixed by Jens Bogren / Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Kreator), and featuring stunning album cover artwork by Eliran Kantor (Testament, My Dying Bride, Sodom). I can already say it's a new masterpiece!

BORKNAGAR founder and mastermind Øystein G. Brun comments about “Fall” as follows: "We are extremely proud to present you all with our 12th album entitled “Fall”, another chapter of our musical journey. In many ways “Fall” represents a continuation of “True North”, but as always, we are pushing further and afar to seek even broader and more challenging horizons. Musically we are loyal to our musical legacy, but we have most certainly walked through fire and ice to reach our highest peak yet. Although “Fall” represents a wide array of musical and lyrical ideas, the fundamental theme behind the album is based on the fascination and appreciation of the very outskirts of life. Those places, and those beings, in the vast periphery of our own existence that very few live to see or even learn to know about- but still are profoundly essential for our existence. With "Fall" we seek to portray and cherish all that holds up and pushes boundaries - against the great fall."

Summits the songs opens with some bleeps followed by guitars and drums. The song explodes and gets close to the sound from Cradle of Filth (except the vocals don’t go that high and we hear also clean vocals). The sound is very challenging and undergoes changes every 30 seconds: keeping it fresh and interesting (as it’s what I call a long track).

Nordic Anthem was the track that got me reviewing this album as I got hooked over the sound and especially the vocals and the melancholia. It was very clear that this song had to be a single! The title of the song is well chosen and describes the song as it is. I feel this one will be one of my favourite tracks of the years! The song slightly reminds me (vocal wise) of Alter Bridge.

Afar mixes a well fuelled drive with high octane vocals and clean (melancholic) vocals. It’s the hardest track yet. The backings give the song a sweetened touch, but the global sound is hard, raw and villain.

Moon sounds a bit softer and focusses on a more tender sound with marvellous backings and a more melancholic/melodic touch in the global sound. It’s the second best track on this album (up to my personal taste). I also adore the changes in the tempo and the variation in the global sound.

Stars Ablaze mixes Pink Floyd with Cradle of Filth. It might sound strange, but her it makes sense, totally!

Unraveling has a more rock minded touch, with strong backings (and yet some sharp screaming). It’s a beautiful song with a great sound.

The Wild Lingers is haunting and very beautiful with a well worked out global sound and balanced to perfection!

Northward explodes from the start, slows down, speeds up … like waves on a windy ocean. They mix harsh scream with clean vocals, hard with softer passages and all resonating in a very melodic way.

Well: it’s nice to discover from time to time new artists (although this isn’t a new one, but you know what I mean). I adore the switches between influences from Alter Bridge, Pink Floyd and Cradle of Filth. I nominate Nordic Anthem as song of the year! Yup, it’s early but like this you know how good this anthem is! Hope to see them on stage, one day …