Borknagar - Quintessence LP (Red/Silver Swirl vinyl)
The folky, nostalgic, old world style of the first two albums are long gone. The Archaic Course brought about a new style of goofy sounding progressive black metal that was definitely weaker than the first two. Quintessence then works on the flaws of The Archaic Course to make an end product that leans much closer to progressive metal than black metal. Vortex's clean vocals are used more often here, and he sounds great...just as long as his voice isn't being fucked with. If there's one negative thing to say about Quintessence, it's that layering the vocals can get somewhat annoying at times. One effect that's really irksome is on "Ruins of the Future" where he sounds like he's doing harsh vocals while his mouth is in a basin full of water and he's blowing bubbles. However, his voice sounds excellent clean and harsh on other likcs like "Colossus", "Icon Dreams", "Genesis Torn", and "Revolt" even if the vocals are layered at certain points.