Borknagar is a band from Bergen, Norway founded in 1995 by Øystein Garnes Brun. The band began as a black metal/viking metal band and quickly adopted a more progressive metal style after their first album.
As such, the band's most known style would be that of progressive black metal, with most of their albums taking from this style. Borknagar's lyrics often deal with philosophy, paganism, nature, and the cosmos. Øystein Brun stated once that the name was inspired by a Scottish legend about a man who climbed Lochnagar, a mountain in Scotland.
Borknagar rose out of the ashes of the Norwegian death metal band Molested when then-member Øystein G. Brun became tired of the brutal aspects of the band's music. Øystein formed Borknagar to explore a more melodic outlet of expression; he wrote all of the music and lyrics and gathered together an all-star group of black metal musicians to play in his band. Well-known musicians of the black metal scene (such as Infernus of Gorgoroth, Grim of Immortal and Gorgoroth, Ivar Bjørnson from Enslaved, Garm of Ulver, Head Control System, and ex-Arcturus) joined the project, bringing immediate attention to Borknagar. The band never even recorded a demo – they simply asked for a record contract on Malicious Records and were granted their request. Borknagar's majestic, melodic sound was instantly liked by many and received positive press attention.
Borknagar has released ten albums to date. Their self-titled debut album features lyrics in Norwegian; all subsequent albums have featured lyrics written in English by both ICS Vortex from Arcturus and Dimmu Borgir and later by current singer, Vintersorg from Otyg and his eponymous band (Vintersorg). All of the band's records (excluding the original pressing of the debut album via Malicious Records) have been released by the Century Media label. Borknagar has toured with various bands, including the well-known Cradle of Filth.
Simen Hestnæs rejoined the band in 2010. Since then he and Vintersorg have shared lead vocal duties.
1996 - Borknagar
1997 - The Olden Domain
1998 - The Archaic Course
2000 - Quintessence
2001 - Empiricism
2002 - Urd
2004 - Epic
2006 - Origin
2010 - Universal
2012 - Urd
2016 - Winter Thrice
* Vintersorg (Andreas Hedlund) - Vocals
* Øystein G. Brun - Guitar
* Lazare (Lars Nedland) - Keyboard
* Jens Ryland - Guitar
* ICS Vortex (Simen Hestnæs) - Vocals, Bass
* Baard Kolstad - Drums
* Garm (Kristoffer Rygg) - Vocals
* Asgeir Mickelson - Drums
* Kai Lie - Bass
* Infernus - Bass
* Ivar Bjørnson - Keyboard
* Grim (Erik Brødreskift) - Drums (Causa mortis: Suicide. 1969 - 1999.10.04.)
* Tyr (Jan Erik Tiwaz) - Bass - Session Member for Origin album
* David Kinkade - Drums
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