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A combination side project and supergroup of the Norwegian black metal scene, Borknagar members Oystein G. Brun (guitar, ex-Molested), Garm (vocals, also of Ulver and Arcturus), Ivar Bjornson (keyboards, ex-Enslaved), Infernus (bass), and Grim (drums; also of Immortal and Gorgoroth) started their own project in 1995. Not wasting any time, their self-titled debut came out early the following year on Malicious Records, and landed them a deal with Century Media Records soon thereafter. Kai Lie replaced Infernus for their second album The Olden Domain in 1997, and Borknagar undertook a full-scale European tour in support. With new vocalist I.C.S. Vortex (b. Simen Hestnaes) and guitarist Jens F. Ryland, Borknagar immediately jumped back into the studio to record and release 1998's progressive The Archaic Course without any breaks in between. Unfortunately, Grim died of a sleeping-pill overdose in October 1999; he was replaced by Asgeir Mickelson. For 2000's even more progressive Quintessence album, Vortex took over bass duties, and new keyboardist Lasare signed on. ~ Mike DaRonco & Steve Huey, Rovi