With over 20 years of experience and five studio albums under their belts, Hungarian black/pagan metal outfit BORNHOLM are no longer strangers to the scene. Today, the band presents the second single, “Spiritual Warfare,” from their exciting Napalm Records debut and brand-new, fifth studio album, Apotheosis, out November 5, 2021.
With “Spiritual Warfare,” BORNHOLM present a nearly melodic facet of their sonic spectrum — mixing their trademark black metal sound with dashes of pagan and folk metal whilst prominent frantic drumming and forceful riffing underlines their somber side.
Ever since bursting onto the scene in 2000, BORNHOLM has been an unstoppable force in the black and pagan metal realms, touring with household names like EX DEO, VARG, ARKONA and many more. With their upcoming offering, Apotheosis, the unit is ready to take its career to another level and set the stage with sinister first single “I Am War God.” Mixing significant, ground-shaking black metal elements, ruthless growling and heroic pagan accents, the band absolutely showcases their variety and sonic progression.
BORNHOLM‘s guitarist/vocalist Sahsnot comments on “Spiritual Warfare”: “This song is a special song for me, in addition to hitherto unusual musical solutions, it also displays a lyrical apocalyptic vision. It contains biblical references, abstract visions, ritual magic. Behind the scenes of the physical world, warfare always takes place primarily among spiritual forces, which is the real driving force behind. This causes changes in the visible world. Which side is which is not so clear-cut, whether there are any sides at all or just one will. While it’s not a fast track, it still has the fastest part on the album. The cover painting is my work, just like all the visuals related to the album, it was brought to life greatly.”
Apotheosis not only showcases BORNHOLM’s tonal development, but also goes back to the origins of the band’s history and the heavy, often almost doomy influences mixed with indispensable atmospherically dark and raw flavor. Accompanied by sinister sacral sounds of historic proportions and a hypnotizing, incantatory chant, intro track “I Divine” heralds the dark ride to nowhere. It is precisely in the void between pagan and black metal that the sound finds its home, with tracks like “Spiritual Warfare” and “Black Shining Cloaks” — the latter of which featuring a magnificent guitar solo by Mike Wead (MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND) — including its diabolic, atmospheric intro, “The Key to the Shaft of the Abyss,” representing the mellowness and extremes of the band.
Along with the almost melodic borrowings and acoustic guitar inserts in combination with the pure rawness of “To the Fallen,” the record highlights the band’s variety and sonic progression. The title track “Apotheosis” is a slow, howling homage mixing aggressive, shrieking vocals and melodiously grim anecdotes. Album closer “Enthronement” closes the metaphorical and musical bracket and provides the 52-minute piece with a venerable, instrumental conclusion.
Apotheosis track listing:
1. I Divine
2. My Evangelium
3. Sky Serpents
4. The Key to the Shaft of the Abyss
5. Black Shining Cloaks
6. Spiritual Warfare
7. Darkened Grove
8. To the Fallen
9. I am War God