Burzum Part 3: Return of the Bearded King

Livin’ on a farm.

So, 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 later albums show a more refined sound though, as opposed to the rawness of the early releases.  The vocals change from those old-school high-pitched shrieks to creepy harsh whispers, with some spoken word thrown in.  Even with these changes, the mystique is still there.  The tunes will still transport you into the cold woods of Norway, so never fear.

Belus – 2010

Belus.  The first release by the free Varg Vikernes.  “Belus’ Dod” opens up the album, and it is a reworking of a track from one of Burzum’s ambient albums.  It is a return to form.  Repetitive riffing and melodies played over and over again hypnotizes the listener into enter whatever fantastical world Vikernes is trying to pull them into.  I think the different, lower sounding approach to the vocals works great with the new sound.  However, the music is still easily identifiable as Burzum.  You know you are listening to a Varg melody as soon as the album starts (mainly because it is one he used before, L THE FUCK O L).  One thing missing, which is a negative for me, is the synthesizers.  On the two albums before Varg went to jail, the mix of the melodic synths over the extreme distortion was an awesome, butt-fuckable contrast.  Belus is standard Metal instrumentation, but that is really the only downside for me.  Otherwise this is a solid release — it may not be as great as the “classics,” but it is a great record none the less.  Check out the epic “Glemselens Elv.”

Fallen – 2011

From the opening furious tremolo picking of “Jeg Faller,” you know you are in for more of the same.  If that is a negative or plus really just depends on how you feel about Burzum.  Fallen follows in the same footsteps of Belus.  I really can’t see not enjoying this album, if you enjoyed that.  There is nothing new or groundbreaking here, but if you want some of Burzum’s trademark hypnotic metal, you aren’t going to go wrong with this record.  Honestly, I don’t know what else to say.  If you hated Belus, don’t listen to this.  If you love Shania Twain, check it out.

From The Depths of Darkness – 2011

This is one of those records that is just re-recorded versions of old songs, stuff from Burzum’s first two releases.  Pretty pointless as an album.  The cleaned-up sound of the new versions takes away some of the atmosphere that the originals had.  The vocals are done now in the newer style of the last two releases, less high-pitched.  Honestly, the only purpose this could really serve is to expose new listeners who are put off by older Burzum’s harsh sounds to his previous songs.  However, I do actually prefer the new version of “Ea, Lord of the Depths.

Umpskiptar – 2012

And here we end on a different note: Umpskiptar, the latest album.  If anything were to be considered Burzum’s experimental record, this would be it.  Starting off like the Belus or Fallen, the album slowly transitions into more ambient and spoken-word passages.  Backing instruments such as drums slowly disappear as the album moves on.  For example the song “Galgviðr” contains nothing but strange guitar strumming and picking with a chanting vocal track.  I can easily see this album alienating many, especially old-fashioned Metal fans.  I was on the fence about the album the first time I listened to it, but it has slowly grown on me.  It easily takes you on a journey if you let it, starting in familiar territory only to end up somewhere unknown, you know, like somewhere Lord of The Rings like.  Recommended for fans of Experimental Metal and Ambient Folk.

Until the next time.  Stay trve and kvlt, hippie.


One Response to “Burzum Part 3: Return of the Bearded King”

  1. He should go back to prison for Sexual Assault — his music rapes my ear holes.

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