Borealis – The Offering


Borealis were a band once again recommended to me by the good people of The Folk Metal Grove. I had never heard of them before, but I was intrigued, as the name “Borealis” already gave me some images in my head of how I thought they would be.

There are some incredible tracks on this album. We kick off with The Fire Between Us, which starts with a calm guitar, then there is a little tension with the drums which contrast the otherwise calming nature. Then we finally get the metal kicking in, with instrumentals to make you headbang wherever you are, and the great addition of some symphonic elements. One repeating theme in this album is that I am very much reminded of Scar Symmetry in the instrumentals.

The second track, Sign of No Return starts off a little more mysterious, but we get the heavy drums and guitar back. It also has a soaring chorus. The title track, The Offering, is just some great power metal. There are lots more symphonic elements and there is a bit more power and gravel behind the vocals. I really like it. River kicks straight in and is really heavy on the drums. There is a beautiful guitar solo partway through before the drums kick in.

The Second Son is a bit more symphonic at the beginning, and the rest of the track is a bit slower paced but is still quite heavy. This seems like the beginning of the breather in the album after all the hard hitting powerful instrumentals. The Devil’s Hand takes this even further as nearly a full ballad track. The drums kick in about a minute from the end and make this a power ballad finish. Into the Light again starts with a ballady introduction, and then the drums and guitar kick in loud and fast. The energy of the first part of the album is back with a vengeance.

We have the obligatory “power metal love song” in the form of Scarlet Angel next. There is a calming introduction, and when the drums kick in, the slower pace is back. There are some female vocals for the first time on the album which complement the instrumentals and male vocals really well. The Awakening has a heavier start but the slower tempo is still there, and we have some really nice calming piano and choral elements. The Path is an instrumental track, and I can definitely hear the Scar Symmetry style here. Forever Lost is back to the heavier style of instrumental we heard earlier, and there are lots of symphonic elements to it.

The Ghosts of Innocence is an 8 minute epic to finish the album. It begins with a 3/4 piano, strings and vocal mix. It’s an interesting vocal melody and I like it. There are heavy, headbanging worthy sections, and some power ballad sections. The most interesting part for me is the piano interlude where the female vocals alternate with the male vocals, and it becomes clear that the female vocals represent an inner voice or spirit within the male vocalist’s character. The track takes you on a magical journey and ends with piano.

This album is brilliant. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to this kind of power metal and I love it. My only gripe with this album really is that most of the tracks end by fading out, which for me personally interrupts the flow of the album a little. But each track on it’s own is brilliant.

Verdict: 8.5/10

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