Borknagar - The Archaic Course LP (Aqua Blue/White Swirl vinyl)
After 2 excellent albums with Garm on vocals, he decided to leave since he lost interest on the proyect, thus recommending ICS Vortex (who sang on Arcturus' LMI 1 year prior) to fill in the vocals. Ivar Bjornson (Enslaved) was also leaving, playing on this album more like a guest than anything and also Borknagar added a guitar player in the name of Jens Ryland, thinking on getting the band more suitable for live performances. Even taking into account all these changes (in less than a year, mind you), the resulting material it's still pretty consistent within the band's style.
This album follows the trend of ditching the black metal element in favor of a more folk/progressive approach (like their countrymates Enslaved did a couple years after), which can be heard thru all the songwriting, especially the extensive use of clean vocals. Still, Oystein Brun has a great sense of epicness to the songwriting and he doesn't disappoint, writing a great set of songs with a stronger sense of melody but not forgetting the aggression needed for a (almost former) black metal band. Borknagar will keep many of the elements presented on this album throught all their career, as shown thru the Vintersorg era and especially the last 2 albums (being 2012, those albums are Universal and Urd).