Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Borgne - Entraves de l'Âme (2010)

Entraves de l'Âme is the fourth proper full-length from the Swiss artist Borgne, otherwise known as Bornyhake, and the first of his releases to drop the Roman numeration. If you've experienced his albums before, you'll already know that this project serves as more of an ambient, cosmic alternative to his more direct, bludgeoning Enoid, and though there are some places in which the two intersect, they are thematically separate. They're also both quite gripping, and if you're a fan of artists who brandish the more modern armor of atmosphere, obscurity and disgust, like Leviathan or Xasthur, then I feel it's only natural you would want to explore a number of his works.

As I've already hinted, Borgne's material carries both the scent of human carrion and a knack for expansive expression that swelters to fill almost any space, whether that be the stellar void, a valley in the Alps, or a fogged, cold woodland. Through the thick, resonant guitars, the enormous, lecherous rasp of progenitor Bornyhake, or the intentionally underpinned programming of the brutal drums, you are given a foundation upon which the eerie, simplistic synthesizers can truly soar, and length pieces like the 9-minute "Die Trying to Take Off the Rope" or gentle, measured escalation of "The Plague" are a true pleasure to behold, if you've got the time to kill. One of Bornyhake's greatest weapons is his production: virile and raw, yet intangibly glorious to the point that the listener can experience bliss among the bombardment, revelation among the ripping discourse.

He's also not above throwing out a lead guitar (in "The Plague") or a dire, ambient sequence (i.e. the book-ends "Drown in Nothingness" or "Moorwanderung"). There is a completeness to this work which should satisfy fans of the entire Burzum school of thought. The music is never complex or challenging, but it is constantly engaging the listener to a separate, ghostly plain of sadness and might. The balance is not necessarily perfect, but there's enough going on to sate both the desperate appetite of the depressive addict and the dark explorations of the psychedelic black metal astronaut, and Entraves de l'Âme is successful in carrying you off to another world, where only your emotional survival skills will determine the duration of your exposure.

Verdict: Win [8/10]


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