THE BURZUM REISSUE CHRONICLES
Part Three of Three
The Russian label Satanath Records has recently re-released the whole BURZUM catalog which is for sale in Russia but is licensed from Byelobog Productions. This is a perfect opportunity for yours truly to go through and write a few things about BURZUM. I have written about some releases, aka: the first ones when Varg Vikernes was released from prison. I make no apologies about it. I am and will always be a fan of BURZUM. But I am objective to a point. You see I always strive to the importance that it's always about the music.
Now for you ignorant ones, BURZUM was the one man Norwegian black metal project started in 1991 by Varg Vikernes. He is still one of the most influential musicians in black metal's history, especially for one man black metal acts across the globe. On the other side of the coin Vikernes was convicted for the murder of Oystein Aarseth aka: Euronymous of MAYHEM. He was also convicted of arson and served fourteen years in prison.
Now for you truly ignorant ones, if you hate Vikernes for his crimes then fine, move on. If you have some sort of grudge against him then let me remind you. Unless you are over forty-five, Norwegian and a friend or family member of the Aarseths then you just need to shut the fuck up. I am a huge MAYHEM fan as well and you know what? I just live my own life and enjoy the music.
So as far as my looking at all of these releases well it'll be short, sweet, informative, opinionated as well as fun. Besides it's January, it's cold and windy outside right now and we're expecting freezing rain or even snow in the coming days. So what else is there to do then listen to BURZUM's whole catalog, let's get into it.
BURZUM - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
My favorite BURZUM album you ask? Yeah well it is one I like a lot for a number of reasons. First off this was my first experience with listening to BURZUM on CD. Just listen to "Det som en gang var". You've got this minimalist drum pattern, a hornet nest's guitar sound, haunting keyboards and of course Varg's wretched screams. What could be more inviting?
The second thing is that on Hvis Lyset Tar Oss you've got four distinct cuts that don't overlap as far as style and atmosphere. You've got the trance inducing melodies, the thrash and raw rip your head off stuff, the atmospheric piece as well as the ambient endeavor. This was Varg on a plate for a listener to feast upon which is what I did at that time. Third is that if you listen to what came before and what came afterward then you see Hvis Lyset Tar Oss as a very progressive effort by Varg.
BURZUM - Det Som Engang Var
The sophomore full length by BURZUM is where Varg really embraced his potential to create a climate of eerie, harsh and ambient sounds. The opening instrumental "Den Onde Kysten" has this creepy atmosphere as if you're literally entering that D&D fortress like structure depicted on the front cover. From that point onward it's an exploration of said dwelling in a musical sense.
Sound-wise you have this dirge like guitar riffs coming across like a very pissed off nest of hornets. Varg's variations of vocals whether it be ghostly chants and whispers, painful wails or those fucking high pitched screams. The bass lines coming across at times like thunder while in other cases sound like giant boots marching towards you. Turn out the lights, turn up the volume and prepare to be freaked the fuck out.
BURZUM - Self Titled LP / Aske EP
And so it begins per say. This reissue of Varg's first two releases is simply raw black metal at it's finest. Break out a sweater because it's about to get chilly to say the least. Unlike other reissues of this, like the one I got, this contains both versions of "A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit". But as far as this one goes it's still a fine piece of work. Varg's first attack upon the psyche of metal music fans. Please don't pester me about the demos OK?
As with that you get Varg's horrific screams, that maniacal guitar tone which could drive anyone insane, some keyboard interludes and minimalist drumming. Obviously Varg would go onto better things and in a short time as well. Still cuts like "Feeble Screams from Forests", "Ea, Lord of the Depths", "Spell of Destruction" and "A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit" will always some timeless favorites for yours truly.
BURZUM - 12 CD Box Set
So how do I end the BURZUM CHRONICLES? By talking about a BURZUM Box Set. For less than the price of an original Deathlike Silence copy of the Aske EP (and no not that Macedonian bootleg you bought over the internet to impress your hipster buds at Pitchfork) you could pick up this BURZUM Box Set. Go to the link below.