Review Summary: You're late
Black metal has (for a long time anyway) never been one something I could truly get into. When my musical expansion in the broad field of heavy metal finally fluttered its wide wings, I almost skipped over this genre as a whole, besides a few subsiding albums keeping me in nothing more than a place of unnatural desire for something I never really wanted. Confusing, I’m sure, but in the end, most of what this paranormal genre had to offer me was pretty much a dying influence on what I personally thought music was all about. Nowadays though, this isn’t necessarily the case. While granted, I do enjoy, and explore the genre a lot more now; I still don't find myself being absolutely perplexed by bands involved in this side of music. I wouldn’t say I’d drop my pipe and run for Burzum, but I can at least say that I’d feel comfortable sitting down and enjoying an entire album by this rather endearing man.
I'm sorry, did I just call a man who about a year before this records time, came out of prison for burning churches in Norway and killing off many a people? Yes, and for the sake of preserving this albums integrity, I’ll skip out on Burzum's troubling, and see him fit for nothing more than creating a beautifully atmospheric album, his first in over 17 years, and his best for even longer than that. While many would be quick to disagree, I personally find the man's material outside the dark ambient circle to be quite endearing, and more worth-wile than most previous works. I certainly don't mean to conclude that Burzum's material beforehand was bad by any means, but to simply imply that Burzum, otherwise known as Varg Vikernes, has his true career lying right in front of him; and he'd be a fool to miss it.
is an album that is relatively easy to describe in terms of the amount of effort clearly put into this production, but we're taking pretty large steps attempting to break down Varg's vivid imagination into readable passages of word, able to be understood. To turn Varg's head around, and analyze what is in the end, a rather simple judgment, Belus
still proves to be an album full of misunderstood composure, and a prominent concept to say the least. What starts off as the simplest form of integrity, Leukes Renkespill
is simply a 30 second repeat of what sounds like a small game of marbles. Seems unnecessary? Maybe so, but what this introductory track will do, is solidify latter points aimed towards the album's tendency to not grab you by the hair, and toss you like a rag-doll, but rather soothe you with its quenching atmosphere that will leave you wondering "what's next?" This right here is probably the best thing about the album.
The second track of the album shows Varg clearly asking for his own shot of the spotlight after so many long years. While failing to do just that, instead, Burzum bides his time, playing a game of cat and mouse with your ears, simply trying to bring you up to par with what this album holds in store for you. But unlike his most recent album before this, you won’t be left wondering where the album went and why, but instead you’ll feel more attuned to the albums sensibility and atmospheric pleasures. Yes sir, this first real track shows you predictability, and you can easily guess what’s going to happen next as the song carries on for over six minute with a relatively simple to understand concept.
The next track on the other hand, Burzum might as well consider his wish granted. Between much more complex riffs, and the vocals which differentiate throughout the track, starting with the typical scratchy, and evil-sounding vocals, and moving along towards the lower, more spoken text of the song, this 12 minute track could feel as though it lasts forever, but not really in a bad way. More in a way, so that by the time for 4th track rolls around, you’re so drunk on this album’s production and mood, that most of its waking simplicity is merely an expectance. Not the least of which comes the albums latter material which revolves mainly around one thing, and takes it in excess: simplicity. When it comes to the grand track Glemselens Elv
, the track, when it finally wraps up, makes you feel like you just read a good story. It had everything in it too. A good intro, a rising action, the climax, the winding down, and your outro. But when the last three tracks come, they sound great at first-hand, and don’t get me wrong, they’re great, but they lack so much of what made Glemselens Elv
a classic. These songs simply rely off of each other, going from one track to the next, and unless you play this album all the way through, (which as I mentioned earlier, it is practically essential) you won’t feel much of anything.
is an album that is just long past due. After stirring up inside of Varg for so many years, its pride, its meaning, was all for naught when he finally decided to bring it to the surface. An album that portrays the soft pines on the front cover, receiving a beautiful shine from the sun, but in the end, losing its superiority in simplicity that matches half the album art being covered in black from one of the trunks. An album that can be used to simply lie out in the raise and enjoy, or in a dark corner alone, and leaving your mind dazed and wondering “what just happened?” An album that for once in the grand scheme of things required just a tad more consideration in the individuality of the tracks, rather than their relationship with the whole album.