1. Rivalry of Phantoms
2. The Presence Is Ominous
3. Ruins of the Future
5. Inner Landscape
7. Icon Dreams
8. Genesis Torn
Quintessence is Borknagar’s fourth studio album. It was recorded at The Abyss Studios in January 2000 and mixed by Peter Tägtgren.
According to interviews, this album was meant to be a strictly straightforward black metal album, as shown on the production quality and the fact that ICS Vortex’s vocals are more of the traditional black metal screams and growls, with less clean singing.
This album marks bassist Kai K. Lie’s departure from the band, with vocalist ICS Vortex taking over bass duties. It also marks the departure of keyboardist Ivar Bjørnson (being replaced with Lars A. Nedland) and drummer Grim (being replaced with Asgeir Mickelson), who incidentally committed suicide a few months before the album’s release. This would also be Vortex’s last album as vocalist of Borknagar before quitting the band to join Dimmu Borgir (reportedly due to an ultimatum on Øystein Brun’s part), until his return in 2010.