7/24/2016 - Review by: Greg Watson
Incredible mix of progressively aggressive metal
Norwegian progressive blackened band Borknagar have been creating incredibly atmospheric music for almost 20 years now. 'Winter Thrice' is the band's tenth album and the second which features both ICS Vortex and Vintersorg sharing vocal duties. The duality of Vintersorg's harsher vocals with Vortex's clean vocals is quite amazing and gets even better when Vintersorg throws in his clean vocals. Continuing with the duality theme, musically 'Winter Thrice' continues with the pairing of a very clean, progressive sound melded with black metal creating an incredible mix of progressively aggressive metal. Founder Oystein G. Brun and Jens F. Ryland provide a wonderful mix of soaring, melodious guitar lines with scorching and heavier riffs, giving the music a dynamic and rich sound. This album has a few tracks that add a little new flavor here and there. The folky tinged "Panorama" has a more organic feel while piano gives way to "When Chaos Calls", a highlight of the record that is veiled and surrounded by a very progressive interlude before returning back to the depths of black metal. The only slight gripe that I have with it is it seems a little redundant when compared to 2012's 'Urd' both musically and vocally. I feel like songs from either album could be transposed and would fit equally together. Whether this was intentional or just pure accident, the repetitiveness of the songs tends to fizzle out a little bit rather than maintaining the focus and fire. But all that being said, 'Winter Thrice' is still a really solid album and is what Borknagar fans have come to expect. They definitely don't disappoint.
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