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Norwegian metallers Borknagar Celebrate Striking New Album Entitled Fall

Norwegian metallers Borknagar Celebrate Striking New Album Entitled Fall

Norwegian metallers Borknagar Celebrate Striking New Album Entitled Fall

Norwegian metallers Borknagar celebrate their striking new album, Fall, via Century Media Records. The follow-up to widely acclaimed True North (2019), Fall sees Øystein G. Brun (guitars), Simen “ICS Vortex” Hestnæs (vocals/bass), Lars A. Nedland (vocals/keyboards), Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow (drums) and Jostein Thomassen (guitars) advancing bravely forward while cherishing their prestigious past. Tracks like the violently epic “Summits”, the thoughtfulness of “Nordic Anthem”, and the progressively lofty “Unraveling” strengthen Borknagar’s wide-angled mastery of the domain they forged 30 years ago.

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 colors and shades and nuances. To start the new album cycle, I felt we had to fulfill our True North album obligations, which were put on hold for obvious reasons. Once we did that, we were able to start the writing process for Fall.”

After tours with Rotting Christ and Wolfheart in the U.S., Moonspell and Insomnium in Europe, along with high-visibility festival slots at Hellfest, Midgardsblot, and Nummirock in 2022, Brun and the rest of Borknagar holed up in their respective home studios across Norway to write their 12th full-length album. Brun recalls no defined starting point in the process, but the bulk of Fall—citing tracks like “Moon”, “Afar” and “The Wild Lingers” as examples —were in a constant state of renewal at Brun’s Crosound Studio. As always, Borknagar toiled over their art, its meaning, and its final form. It is, for all intents and purposes, the spiritual successor of True North. Fall, however, blazes new trails for the Norwegians.

I think about the musicians in the band when I write,Brun says. “I’ve always been privileged. I needed to showcase Lars, Simen, Jostein, and Bjørn—all incredible musicians. When I wrote the songs for Fall, I had to weave around their talent. My main goal was to highlight, push, and challenge them. It was also to challenge myself. Of course, it’s always about moving the borderlines with Borknagar. That’s probably cliché, but it’s true. Music is like climbing a mountain. There’s always another higher peak. I think Lars, who wrote two songs, and Simen, who wrote one, would agree. Music is also a human artifact. My cats at home don’t care about it. Neither do the birds outside. Somehow, I need it to reflect my life, the band’s life—Borknagar. That’s our journey so far.

Borknagar’s origins trace back to 1994. Over the past three decades, Borknagar have traversed a variety of thought-provoking topics on albums like The Olden Domain (1997), Empiricism (2001) and Winter Thrice (2016). Conceptually, the overarching themes have been universal. Still, the sub-surface was almost always personal to the band’s many lyricists, including but not limited to Brun, Hestnæs, Nedland, and former vocalist Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund. Whereas True North posited the idea of a compass upon Borknagar’s legion of devotees, Fall changes direction to a season-based approach. Of course, “Summits”, “Moon” and “Unraveling” aren’t simply about autumnal things like leaves changing. Instead, Fall, as a homonym, portends a far grimmer reality.

True North was a safe haven,” says Brun. “Fall, in a way, is the change of the seasons as we know them, but it’s also about universal struggle. Let’s look at it like this: once you’re born, nature by design is against you. In other words, life is a struggle. If you live in the wildness, jungles, or the outskirts of existence (opposite of what I’d call the comforts of civilization), nature will do everything to put you back into the ground. The core of Fall is the struggle against nature. Surviving nature. The album title connects with the artwork, the music, and lyrical content—the album title, Fall, sums up everything.

Borknagar recorded Fall across several studios in Norway. Norwegian producer Marius Strand captured Rønnow’s monstrous drums at Strand Studio in Oslo, while the remainder was tracked by Brun and team at Crosound Studio in the hinterlands of Hordaland. True to form, famed studio ace Jens Bogren was onboarded again to mix and master at Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Sepultura) in Örebro, Sweden. Sonically, Fall is massive. From opener “Summits” and mid-album stunners (“Moon” and “Stars Ablaze”) to closer “Northward”, Borknagar have never sounded this monumental and electric.

I try to ensure the guys have the best environment to record in”, Brun says. “If I have to send Simen to the North Pole with a microphone, I’ll do it. Bjørn has a good working relationship with Marius. They work flawlessly together. I have a high-end studio now—the pre-production demos were recorded there. Recording most of Fall at my studio made a lot of sense. We’re all familiar with it, and since it’s my studio, I can focus on the important things instead of worrying about the recording budget. The pressure’s different but more favorable since time is on our side. The studio time is always fun—exciting even—but also demanding. None of this is new, of course, but when we record, it’s always a new challenge, something we eagerly embrace. I think you can hear that we’re a tighter band, too.”

Borknagar will lead Fall with a series of videos. A lyric video for “Summits” and two proper conceptual videos for “Nordic Anthem” and “Moon” are ready, with another as-yet-announced video track near the release date. The much-anticipated album, featuring cover art by award-winning artist Eliran Kantor (Kreator, Testament), is the sound of a band on the crest of their third wave. Fall into Borknagar, share the grand struggle against the wild in all of us…

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