Borgne - Y

06 Mar 2020 - Thorsten

Blackened-Industrial | Les Acteurs de l'ombre | Release date: 06 Mar 2020

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Ministry and Venom spawned a child - it’s name is Borgne and Y is its 9th cry of despair.

Very often our ears are not able to discern the nuances used by some special metal bands to make their sound unique or at least interesting. That is not the case with Borgne from Lausanne, Switzerland that is not the case. The Swiss one-man-project mixes a lot of industrialized sounds and synths into their doomy kind of black metal and that enriching factor really sets them apart from most of the scene. One can hear some Deathspeall Omega or Blut aus Nord in their sound as well as Ministry or :Wumpscut:, even some doomy stuff like Type O Negative or Slow is noticeable. One band that is definitely a good comparison would be LLNN from Denmark, as they also use industrial sounds to enhance their doomy, gut-wrenching sludge. Nevertheless, their sound is never a rough mix or a simple rip-off, which also becomes clear, when having a look at the long discography (Y is the ninth record!) and the long bio, the project was started in 1998.

But the self-sufficient and non-copying character becomes clear when listening to tracks like “Derriere les yeux de la creation” (Behind the eyes of Creation): starting off with an acoustic guitar over a drone-like noise background that becomes louder and louder. Then a sparse piano part and some rudimentary drums kick in before the whole hurricane of instrumentation unfolds its attraction when a blast-beats starts after 90 seconds. The song uses the synth-parts to underline the dangers of the look behind the eyes of creation for one might see something one cannot understand: Either God or sheer nothingness.

The eyes and vision in general is also a recurring theme for this record and the project itself, as Borgne in French can be the one-eyed – maybe the one-eyed among the blind seeing things the others can’t? But also song titles like the one mentioned before or the opening track “As far as my eyes can see” and “A Hypnotizing Perpetual movement that buries me in Silence” share the motif of seeing and staring. This hypnosis effect is something that happens quite literally to the listener of the record. One is basically drawn into the sound cosmos of Borgne which has to do a lot with the industrial-like distortion on the guitars or the synths that create a kind of subtle magnetic pull (see “Paraclesium” which has a long, ambient part). One might realize this seduction when listening to Y also when they use some multi-voice-chants that fit very well to the artwork with the person seemingly hung by the wrists wearing something like a ritual gown (or maybe a robe for inmates in an asylum).

One might dislike the intense mix of metal, industrial and even ambient and might say that this is simply too much. However, if you look at the whole record and give it an open ear, you might be rewarded with a very, very good industrial black metal record. It’s a total niche record, for sure. But in that niche it might be the best one in 2020!