In the land of the blind there is always the one-eyed king and that king is known as Borgne. Man of a veritable plethora of bands Bornyhake is back just two years after last album [∞] and seems to be at the peak of his creativity at the moment. This time around there have been some changes, namely Lady Kaos live keyboard player with Asagraum has joined him and along with session players Dam Bastard and Onbra have created a massive piece of work in the form of ninth album Y. The Swiss project have also returned on new label LADLO Productions which will hopefully mean some more attention is received by them as their macabre vision which has enthralled me for many years certainly needs to be heard.
From the ghastly J-Horror vision of the cover art we are thrust into the nightmarish sounds of ‘As Far As My Eyes Can See.’ Vocals rasp in a craggy fashion and the blackened sound moves between industrialised orchestrations and tumultuous and militant drum beats. The 7 compositions here run at 65 minutes in length so there is plenty of time to explore between the nooks and crannies. There are long instrumental sections allowing a break to be taken from that cadaverous voice and lyrically things are presented in both English like the first number and French further in. Despite separate song titles there is a continuous flow to the music without any pauses making it come across as one huge composition but it is one that twists and turns throughout, never becoming boring or stale in the slightest. It’s forward thinking, at times futuristic and a veritable apocalyptic vision suitable for the times we live in. The blackness follows throughout and although one could mention bands such as Mysticum, Aborym, DHG et al Borgne come across as a really unique entity. The French vocabulary of songs such as ‘Je deviens mon propre abysse’ make it all the more mysterious (at least for the non-French speakers) and some near drum and bass beats and gabba pounds flung into the programming make it an abyss that is going to have you hitting every precipice on the way down once you fall into it. The weird flavours of bands such as Arcturus and Manes can be found lurking here too as we move into the descriptively entitled ‘. A hypnotizing, perpetual movement that buries me in silence’ with its aura of the avant-garde and even trip-hop to take in along the journey. Graveyard like atmospherics and classical ghoulish keyboard passage flow together sending cold shivers down the spine and all of a sudden the mood lightens with some highly unexpected clean vocals that remind a fair bit of Ihsahn. Despite the surprise these work really well and you will find yourself waiting for them expectantly on repeated listens. There’s even some additional guitars courtesy of C.S.R. from Schammasch on this one.
There’s absolutely stacks going on here and it totally immerses you in its realm. From acoustic guitar work to a devilish symphony of austere synth work with craggy French vocals we are taken into the astral spheres of ‘Derrière les yeux de la création’ to behold creation itself, those eyes giving it a cold thousand-yard stare into a fascinating cosmos. This expands and goes into a wild dervish on ‘Qui serais-je si je ne le tentais pas’ we have gone from floating to tumbling through a portal and with some feminine choral work wavering at the back it is more than a little out of this world. Ambience and strange sounds take us drifting through space on hypnotic instrumental ‘Paraclesium’ and this works as a long bridge to the monumental 17-minute closer ‘A voice in the land of stars’ which I would not be surprised in the slightest to discover was the name of a sci-fi book from the 70’s. As for how this particular and highly imaginative work plays out, well you will have to delve into it yourself but I can assure you it is a musical page-turner and an epic work of forward-thinking black industrial art.
(8.5/10 Pete Woods)