Burzum Part 2: Incarcerated Boogaloo

So now Mr. Vikernes landed himself behind bars.  While in prison, Varg was allowed a synthesizer to record music with, but no other instruments.  Two albums were released during this time under the Burzum name, and many fans were disappointed by these releases.  Understandable, as there is no metal to be found.  These ambient/neofolk releases do retain that old-world atmosphere of Varg’s earlier metal albums, but they are a different animal entirely.

Dauði Baldrs – 1997

 

First up, we have Dauði Baldrs, which translates to “The Death of Baldr” in English.    The album is about Baldr, the second son of Odin, ruler of Asgard in Norse mythology.  Now, I am a late listener to Burzum, being too young when he first started.  So these albums have been out for a long, long time before I knew about them.  My point being that I was not a hardcore black metal fan who went into these albums expecting more of that — instead I knew what they were before I listened.

But who the fuck cares about that, how is the album?  Well, for the most part it isn’t very good.  The problem lies mostly with the equipment.  The songs all sound like midi files, almost like the soundtrack to an old-school Nintendo fantasy game.  That being said, there are a lot of really nice melodies and musical ideas present on the album.  The main melody of the title track, my personal favorite, is wonderful (this song would later be re-worked on a metal album after Varg was released from prison).  As nice as that main theme is, the obnoxious midi horns can be a real boner killer.  Anyway, this album is worth listening to at least once.  I would love to hear this album redone with real orchestration, but for now the cheese factor of the cheap sound is really only good for some background D and D music.

 

Hliðskjálf – 1999

Is Hliðskjálf, the second attempt at an ambient work, better or worse?  Could Varg successfully transfer his mood music into ambient soundscapes?  Well, yes.  This second ambient project is a huge improvement over the first.  The first noticeable difference is the sound quality.  I’m guessing he used a different synth because this album isn’t filled with video game sound bits.  Also there are no recreations of orchestral instruments.  Instead, there is a much more simplistic approach to the sounds.  It is mainly just that: sounds.  Most of the tracks blend right together and create a haunting mood.  I really enjoy throwing this one on from time to time, as it is a well-done slice of fantasy music.  If  Varg ejaculated out another album in this style, I think he would have finally hit his stride, but this is the last in this vein before his return to metal.  This album is highly recommended to fans of ambient music — it is relaxing, haunting, and awesome to masturbate to.

For reviews of Burzum’s previous albums, click here.  Or don’t.  Whatever.

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3 Responses to “Burzum Part 2: Incarcerated Boogaloo”

  1. Albums recorded only using synths?

    Yawn.

  2. Writing about Norse mythology? Wow, that’s fucking original, maybe he could write about Greek mythology while he’s at it. What a pretentious fuck.

  3. […] what now for our little wizard of Black Metal?  Out of prison, free to make whatever music his tiny heart desires.  A return to metal, he shall go.  These […]

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