The number 17 slot belongs to Norwegian metallers Borknagar. I was going to say ‘Norwegian black metallers’ but really and truly, this is no longer an entirely accurate description. Some might say that it never was.
Black metal is certainly at the core of Borknagar’s sound but over their 20-year career, they have evolved into something much more difficult to pin down. With ‘Urd’, the band welcome back ex-Dimmu Borgir bassist/vocalist ICS Vortex into the fold. It is a great addition as his unique vocal talents counterpoint those of the equally interesting Vintersorg, thus lending another dimension to the folk-inspired, symphonic, progressive and occasionally avant-garde extreme metal.
‘Urd’ is equal parts aggressive, melodic and downright quirky. As such it is 100% brilliant and is the culmination of many years honing and hard graft.