Borgne: Entraves de L’Ame

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Borgne: Entraves de L’Ame
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Borgne: Entraves de L'Ame
Black Metal
Sepulchral Production
November 9th, 2011
Release length: 41:35
Myspace
Borgne is a Black Metal act from Switzerland, and while not relatively new, it’s one of those acts that seem to reside nicely in the underground Black Metal scene. Forming back in 1998, Borgne was, at one point, a three-piece band. As time went on, it went the route many underground acts have went, becoming a one man solo project. Each album, since their first and only demo, has been named by Roman numerals, ending with IV, and an EP prior to that release and after III, entitled 3.5. While this release technically would be called V, Borgne instead decided to actually give the album a title, calling it Entraves de l’Ame, which translates to English as “Fetters of the Soul” (“Fetter”, for those who don’t know, such as myself, means “shackle” or a “bond at the ankle” according to English dictionaries). While it isn’t one hundred percent clear why the band decided to a different route with the titles, especially since IV was also released through Sepulchral Productions, leaving the theory of a change of labels to not be the reason, Entraves de l’Ame still rings true with most of today’s underground Black Metal releases, and it’s a far more cold, grim, razor sharp release then most.

Right away, much of the traditional elements of underground Black Metal spring to life with the extremely lo-fi introductory instrumental “Drown in Nothingness”, a keyboard-heavy piece that members of Burzum would greatly appreciate. Of course, this instrumental does not fully represent the album. In fact, this lo-fi recording seems rather odd. The rest of the release does feature a raw production quality, but in no way sounds like something transfered from an analog recording onc asette to a digital studio. The production itself, while still retaining a raw quality, is actually surprisingly clear, which really puts a nice emphasis on the blistering doubel bass kicks and slower paced cymbols during many haunting moments where the Burzum-like keyboards add a mysterious, almost dark fantastical feel to the song. Of course, the keyboards can also really impact the music by adding a very haunting and oppressive sounding atmosphere to the recording, almost like a thick mist to enhance the atmosphere of the album, adding perfectly to the razor sharp music, and it’s already dark and menacing demeaner.

While Entraves de l’Ame really starts things off an intense note, the album gradually begins to slow down, focusing more on ambience and atmosphere then ferocity and melancholy. There’s a clear difference between “Tainted Utopia”, a blistering song that has a cold and grim atmosphere matched only by the piercing guitar chords and rapid double bass kicks, as well as the shorter blistering assault “Suffering to Buy Our Poison”, and “Dark Mirror”, which relies more on slower paced music to set a docile tone between the heavy keyboards and effects utilized to make a pounding sound for the song (literally). While tracks like “Dark Mirror” are not necessarily bad, the slower tracks can definitely feel a bit drawn out, not really having much substance to them compared to the lightning fast compositions that adorn this release, succumbing to simpler compositions and chords to pusht he song along that only feel repetitive as these tracks drag on. Of course, this does go with the song “Dark Mirror”, but as for “Die Trying to Take Off the Rope”, the song provides enough changes throughout that the song doesn’t really get as stale as fast, keeping the listener from hitting the skip button for a little while longer. The same can be said for “The Plague”, which is more of an instrumental then anything, though vocals do exist on it, but at a very minimal percentage of the song. The music starts off slow for a little while, and then abruptly slams into the actual music which, like “Die Trying to Take Off the Rope”, has just enough changes to it to make it last for the listener, though the sometimes epic sounding guitars, coupled with the blistering double bass and slightly over-the-top haunting keyboards make it stand out nicely.

Entraves de l’Ame will actually come across to the listener as more then just an underground Black Metal release. If anything, this effort deserves to be out int he spotlight more, as it represents every detail that truly makes a fantastic, stand out album in the style. The music is both harsh and haunting, having a slightly raw quality, but not rough enough to take out the razor sharp feeling of the album, coming at you like blades in the wind. Borgne has put together a highly successful combination, though some moments of the album may not quite work out, or feel forced, the overall dark and ominous feeling of the album more then makes up for some of it’s faults, leaving Entraves de l’Ame a Black Metal album that simply must be experienced by anyone who enjoys this genre of Metal.

01. Drown in Nothingness – 2;27
02. Tainted Utopia – 6:59
03. Die Trying to Take Off the Rope – 8:47
04. Dark Mirror – 7:45
05. Suffering to Buy Our POison – 3:54
06. The Plague – 8:02
07. Moorwanderung – 3:41
Overall Score: 7/10
Borgne (Logo)
Digital review copy of this release provided by Sepulchral Productions.