Borknagar is a name I’ve come to associate with quality. They’re such a well-oiled machine at this point. That’s not to say they’ve fallen into complacency. Not by any means. They still put out engaging, intricate, well written, progressive black metal and sure as shit when I see the name, I know it’s got to be on my must hear list. What else can you expect from a band made up of such talented players, especially in the vocal department. ICS Vortex (of Arcturus, Dimmu Borgir, Lamented Souls) and Vintersorg (of the equally as captivating band Vintersorg) share vocal duties on most of Winter Thrice, going back and forth between Vortex’s amazing clean and showy vocals with Vintersorg’s more traditional blackened style. Speaking of vocals, did I mention Garm (of Ulver, for you heathens who don’t know) guests on a couple tracks? Well, he fucking does, marking a long time return to singing metal and his performance on the title track “Winter Thrice” is the showstopper of the album, maybe one of Borknagar’s best.
We often take for granted the long standing stalwarts of the genre but Borknagar never feels old, never feels like they are pushing steam and are still making incredible music. Put this one in your ears, for sure.
Winter Thrice is available now from Century Media.