Burzum
Draugen - Rarities


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
October 6th, 2007 | 44 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


It is a mystery to everyone in the world as to what Varg Vikernes will do with his life when he is finally released from prison. It is highly doubtful that he will revert back to his Black Metal days of the early 90’s, because it seems with each release since he’s been incarcerated the gap between Vikernes and Black Metal is growing ever larger. Varg has been quoted though saying he will most likely release one or two more Burzum albums before throwing in the towel, and sinking into the black abyss never to be heard from again. I don’t blame the guy, he’s been through more than enough already, if he wants to be left alone that’s his choice, but what has to be realized is that he can create some of the most captivating Black Metal ever recorded. He’s released legendary albums such as Det Som Engang Var and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, he’s carved his name in blood, literally, into Black Metal history. It’s hard to deny the genius of the guy, but at the same time it’s hard to prove the sanity of him.

My recent escapade to my second home (aka the local CD store) brought me looking for the classic Mayhem album Deathcrush. Well, I have been looking for a Burzum CD in stores for many months now, and this was my lucky day. I found, hidden in the back of the CD rack, a compilation of classic and previously unreleased Burzum material entitled Draugen: Rarities. As you can expect, everything else in my hands was dropped and I snagged my newest find with greed. The album had 13 tracks of songs from when Burzum was at it’s finest. The track list contained the entire Aske EP, the tracks from his demo entitled Demo 1991, three songs from an unreleased EP called Svarte Dauen, and one track each from Det Som Engang Var, Burzum, and Filosofem. Also included on a DVD is the only Burzum music video, “Dunkelheit”. That is a pretty impressive compilation if you ask me.

Forget track lists and all that nonsense; let’s talk about the music here. As you can expect, all of the songs were taken from when Varg Vikernes was churning out classic after classic of amazing Black Metal, nothing from his deranged, toy-piano using, prison-cell recorded ambient albums. The production on most of the album is just like anything you’ve heard from any Burzum LP, which fits the ambience Varg was trying to get with his music. However, the one exception can be found on the four songs taken from Demo 1991. Let me just say you can barely understand what is going on. The opening riff from “Lost Wisdom” sounds awesome on Det Som Engang Var. On the Demo, it sounds like each instrument was recorded on, say, a cell phone video, and then combined together on a single disk which was then scratched beyond recognition. The guitar sounds from those four songs are distorted to the point where you can’t even hear the riffs. The drums are somewhere in the distant background, occasionally springing up in front of the guitars at random intervals throughout the song. I’m willing to forgive this appalling production simply because of its “Demo/Rehearsal” classification.

The rest of the album though, is top-notch stuff. The songs from the Aske EP are amazing, especially the 10 minute song “A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit”. The guitars throughout the Aske portion sound exactly like anything out of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss or Det Som Engang Var, creating some eerie melodies or some fast, crunching riffs. Drumming is surprisingly solid, keeping a great beat and adding to the heaviness of the album. On the unreleased songs from the album Svarte Dauen the production is a little more static-filled, but you can hear what is going on in the songs almost all the time. The production values on this portion make Varg’s already evil vocals even better, making them seem more distant and far off, weaving in and out of the instruments, as shown on the fantastic track “Once Emperor”. The last three songs are simply lifted out of their respective LP’s, with the highlight song being the brilliant “Lost Wisdom”, with one of the best Burzum riffs kicking it off in the beginning. Varg’s vocals throughout are something to marvel at, because he has such a unique voice it’s impossible to compare it to others. The way the screeches go along with the music is something many bands can only dream of accomplishing. So, hats off to Varg Vikernes for creating some of the best vocals Black Metal has ever seen.

Draugen: Rarities is exactly the sort of thing that avid Burzum fans such as myself are craving for as we wait for Varg to emerge from the darkness of prison. It contains some extremely hard to find material from way back when Varg was still making Black Metal. Whether he resumes his fabled career when he is released is a mystery only Varg knows the answer to, but for now all I can do is listen to Draugen: Rarities and hope with all my heart that Vikernes will find Black Metal inspiration again, someday…

Pros

+ Classic Burzum Material
+ Varg’s Vocals
+ Some Haunting Guitar Riffs
+ Songs From Rare And Unreleased Albums
+ Finally Some Burzum Stuff Which Isn’t Ambient

Cons

- Production On Some Of The Songs Is Almost Un-listenable
- We May Never Hear Music Like This Again….



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
LifeInABox
October 6th 2007


3708 Comments


What the crap is this?? I must find it!

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2007


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I knew this was out for a while now, I just never got around to buying it until I actually saw it in the store.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

LifeInABox
October 6th 2007


3708 Comments


Trust me. One day, you will just download one album to have it, not really thinking you'll start doing it on a regular basis, but before you know it, your library will be massive with downloaded tunes. I buy as much music as I can, but some stuff is way to expensive/hard to find, and more than likely, the artist isn't even still intact, so no royalties will be lost.

south_of_heaven 11
October 6th 2007


5433 Comments


I download because I'm a cheap motherfucker.

CoRpSeSlAyEr
October 6th 2007


855 Comments


Same here.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2007


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I buy everything because these bands deserve my money. I have no problem paying $25 for an album. I've paid upwards of $60 for a CD.

south_of_heaven 11
October 6th 2007


5433 Comments


I buy the albums if I really like them.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 6th 2007


3742 Comments


i download cause i live near no good record stores, and the one i do live by sells some serious emo shit.

if that store or my local wal-mart carries anything thats fuc'king good, i buy it.

BallsToTheWall
October 6th 2007


44380 Comments


No good f.y.e's around you guys? I dont know if it's just me but i have a couple of decent fyes around me selling, selling stuff like De Mysterious, The Somberlain and stuff like that. I buy cds regardless. I usually like to take a chance on a new band, and every time it worked out for the best. Good review, havent heard much burzum other than parts of Hvis and Det Som.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 6th 2007


3742 Comments


No good f.y.e's around you guys?


I had a Sam goody near me for a month when i moved to where i live, than it closed down.

Meatplow
October 7th 2007


5524 Comments


It's a pretty good unofficial release, though if you have everything that it was lifted off it's not worth having.

A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit is an amazing song. The film clip to Dunkelheit is destructively beautiful as well.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2007


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Who neg'ed this?

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 7th 2007


3742 Comments


i gave it a pos but i didnt neg it.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2007


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It just kinda annoys me when people neg reviews and dont leave a comment saying what they didnt like about the review.This Message Edited On 10.07.07

Dethtrasher
October 7th 2007


2211 Comments


I'm with you Crysis, that annoys me too. Either way, I think you did a great job. I don't like Burzum's music (at least what I have heard of it) but I liked your review, informative and not too long.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2007


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Burzum is either a band you love or loathe. Some people hate the fact that Varg is now a neo-nazi maniac, but I still love his older material. Thanks for the feedback :D

Dethtrasher
October 7th 2007


2211 Comments


Some people hate the fact that Varg is now a neo-nazi maniac

Well that's one reason why I don't listen to his music =/
Maybe I will check out something that he has done but I don't know, it feels like a waste of time since I don't like black metal that much. If I should, what album should I start with?

Meatplow
October 7th 2007


5524 Comments


Burzum or Filosofem i really dig, i'd go one of those.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2007


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you want to check out albums look at Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Det Som Engang Var.... but if I were you I'd listen to a couple of his more melodic tracks like 'Key To The Gate' and 'War' before his heavier stuff, because you said you don't really like Black Metal.

LifeInABox
October 7th 2007


3708 Comments


Haha, happy now Crysis? Congrats.



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