BORKNAGAR return with their third effort entitled "The Archaic Course". First off, the band has returned minus Garm. Instead, behind the mic is ICS Vortex (Simen). Like Garm, he both growls and sings, only his singing is of a higher pitch. While Garm was an excellent singer, and fit with BORKNAGAR's music very well, Vortex seems to fit equally as well, if not more so.
Musically, "The Archaic Course" picks up where "The Olden Domain" left off. The listener is treated with sometimes brutal, sometimes calm Black Metal, with folk, atmospheric, and melodic elements. Chaotic is actually a good description of it. I found that the opener immediately drew me in, but the rest of the CD was hard to get into at first. However, with each subsequent listen, it grew more and more on me.
If you want a Black Metal album that stands out from the rest, you should definitely check this album (and any other BORKNAGAR album) out. Simply a great album. (Online November 13, 2002)