Borknagar- The Olden Domain
Band Homeland- Norway
Band Homepage: http://www.borknagar.com
Label Homepage- http://www.centurymedia.com
Released on Century Media in 1997, “The Olden Domain” seems to have been created with one purpose in mind- to forever be the defining moment in “Epic” metal. I have heard many albums by other bands that aspire to the heights of epic metal, and I know where their influence came from. There are many strong offerings by other bands, but there is only room at the top for one. As far as I am concerned, Borknagar holds that spot, and “The Olden Domain” is what placed them there. I expect that it will keep them there for a very long time.
Consisting of eight songs with a total playing time of 44:29, “The Olden Domain” is an album dedicated to the old ways, of times long before our own. Back to an ancient time when Man was closer to the elements, and closer to the world in which he existed. Each song has a lyrical flow, and remains focused through the album. I like it when a band sets out on an idea and is able to maintain throughout. To this end, Borknagar captures my heathen heart and again makes me think of times that may have been, had I been born 1,200 years ago.
Musically, the album is varied in sound, but I assure you this is a very good thing. From the classic “true” Black Metal sound of harsh vocals, attacking guitars and brutal blastbeats, to sweeping symphonic movements with pitched operatic vocals, the changes fully compliment one another. The combined effect is one of utter and crushing heaviness. There are points in the album where the music is so profoundly beautiful it is stunning. In other parts, the aggressive energy released is such that the listener could well have visions of an ancient war-torn battlefield.
Overall, I will say that this album is an essential classic. Regardless of your chosen genre, you will appreciate the majesty of this album.