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Album Review: Borknagar – Fall

Review by Rick Eaglestone

Norway’s Borknagar return in celebratory form and cherishing their prestigious past for striking new album Fall.

Opening track Summits weaves a violent tempo immediately cemented the bands wide angled mastery that has been synonymous with them for over three decades. The splashes of atmospherics that trickle through are technically brilliant opening up the landscape as the album moves into follow up Nordic Anthem which has wonderfully traditional elements at its very core, this was one of the tracks that the band also chose to create a cinematically conceptual video for.

The album has a really nice flow to it, this is reflected in Afar which for me in particular really encapsulates the overall aesthetic of the album, tying in the album’s artwork really well, it’s combination of elements really showcase almost every dynamic shift over the years and that’s why for me this is the highlight track of the album.

"I spend a lot of time mapping out the next album, mentally speaking." says Borknagar headman Øystein G. Brun. "I always try to find the nerve of things before I start writing. I've always had a very visual relationship with music. I see shapes and colours and shades and nuances. To start the new album cyle, I felt we had to fulfull our True North album obligations, which were put on hold for obvious reasons. Once we did that, we were ablw to start the writing process of Fall."

Moving onwards to Moon which is dominated by nicely structured guitar solos and an atmospheric flare that immediately transports you to snow covered mountains, whilst Stars Ablaze really gives Borknagar the ability to further demonstrate their technical ability and musicianship combing every element they can muster to create a blistering heavy yet emotive masterpiece. 

The combination of the shorter Unravelling and The Wild Lingers still manage to add another dynamic and their stark contrast compliment well with the latter even verging into prog territory. 

Finally, the album closes with longest track Northward which on reflection leaves you with the feeling that not only have Borknagar sounded so eclectic but with that reflection also must come the acknowledgement that this very well be their most monumental release to date.

Watch Nordic Anthem below:

Photo by Jorn Veberg


Øystein G. Brun -Guitars

ICS Vortex - Bass, Vocals (harsh, clean, choirs)

Lars A. Nedland - Keyboards, Vocals (clean, choirs)

Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow -Drums

Jostein Thomassen -Guitars (lead)

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