Bassist Erik Tiwaz (a.k.a. Tyr) has left Norway's BORKNAGAR due to "general disagreements." According to a press release, "The split happened in a friendly manner and with mutual respect."BORKNAGAR's new album, "Universal", sold around 500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 116 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. "Universal" was released on February 22 in Europe and March 2 in North America through Indie Recordings. The effort was made available in four different formats: regular jewelcase CD, limited digipack (including bonus disc), CD box with extras and gatefold LP with double vinyl. An e-card for the effort can be accessed at this location. "Universal" was recorded and mixed at Toproom Studio in Lunner, Norway, with the bandmembers themselves handling the production duties. Commented BORKNAGAR mainman Øystein G. Brun: "We are extremely satisfied with the result! The album turned out even better than we dared to hope for when starting this journey. There is an attitude, energy and nerve to this record that will appeal to the most primal side of man, yet there is complexity and atmosphere that will challenge the most sophisticated parts of mind. The album contains all the elements that made BORKNAGAR the band we are and we firmly believe that this album will be a huge piece of candy for those who have followed the band through the years. This is by far the most complete album we have done to date — musically and production-wise." Regarding the album title, Brun said, "'Universal' is the title that shines through and mirrors the essence of the album. 'Universal' is a title that is broad enough and huge enough to project the giant character of this album, both musically and lyrically."