Burzum
Hlidskjalf


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
August 6th, 2007 | 84 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


In old Norse mythology, Hlidskjalf was the high seat of Odin (chief God in Norse mythology), which enabled him to see into all worlds. It's strange that the most recent (and perhaps final) Burzum album was named this, seeing as how his last album was named Daudi Baldrs, meaning in English "Death of Baldr". Also rooted in Norse mythology, it is said that Hlidskjalf was used by Odin to find Loki (the Norse God of Fire) after he had fled from the scene where he murdered Baldr. A connection maybe" The only person who would know this for sure would be the mastermind of Burzum, Varg Vikernes. What is unfolding before us, in Burzum's new ambient-driven style, could be a rough tale of Norse mythology, seeing as Vikernes no longer writes songs in English or even contributes vocals to the albums. Varg now spends his time in a lonely prison cell with a keyboard and a computer, meaning that Burzum is only a mere fraction of what it used to be.

Gracing the cover of Hlidskjalf is an eerie portrayal of lonely woods in the dead of night, with the ominous moon shining its ghostly white rays down through the trees. A shrine of some sort sits in the woods, carved of stone and all alone. It's a truly powerful cover, with it being hand drawn by Vikernes, so you get a look into his relatively unstable frame of mind. With my Vinyl copy came a sheet with what seems to be lyrics on it, even though not a single word is spoken throughout the album's playtime. It may be a story, or perhaps it's what the lyrics would of been had Varg possessed a microphone. All the words aren't in English, although an English translation is provided underneath. Lastly, there is the record itself.

The music is so far out there, so monumentally different from anything Burzum has done besides Daudi Baldrs. No, there aren't any guitars. No, there aren't any vocals. No, there isn't any bass. All we have here are electronic effects and a keyboard. It's technically not even Black Metal at all, going so far as to not even being classified as metal, the only shred of Black Metal you would find on this entire album is the name Burzum. What is created here is a very dark and brooding form of ambient, showing the dismal and bleak atmosphere that Burzum portrayed so well in earlier offerings. Most of this album can be compared to the track Tomhet of the classic Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, with a very slow pace and not much technicality in the music at all.

Since a lot of the music sounds exactly the same, it's hard to point out specific tracks and differentiate them from the others, but as a whole they sort of melt into one giant, 33 minute track. The opening of Der Tod Wuotans is fairly unique, with a single drum beating behind the synthesizers and keyboard, giving it a distinct Medieval-era tone. Ansuzgardaraiwo is one of the "heavier" tracks on this album, with a lot of crashing electronic effects which give off a more dense feeling than most of the other songs. Die Liebe Nerpus is a personal favorite in its simplicity and calming effect. The keyboard is very prominent here and plays a serene and melancholic line before it is layered with another keyboard and what seems to be a cymbal in the background. Die Kraft Des Mitgefuhls is another track which brings out the darker and more hateful side of this album, amazingly creating this atmosphere with much simplistic sounds.

With Hlidskjalf, Burzum shows a drastic improvement over Daudi Baldrs, but still falls very far short of what Burzum has put out in the past. Varg Vikernes is a better songwriter than this, maybe if he had access to normal instruments this album would be much different, but this is the Burzum that is most likely here to stay. To call this Black Metal would be an outright lie, but to call it ambient would be much more fitting. A great album to relax to, an even better album to fall asleep to, Hlidskjalf is a great portrayal of the dark, lonely world that Burzum will dwell in, forevermore.



Recent reviews by this author
Kauan KaihoInsomnium Winter's Gate
Be'lakor VesselsNovembre Ursa
Swallow the Sun Songs From The North I, II & IIIKauan Sorni Nai
user ratings (440)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
August 6th 2007


4527 Comments


maybe if he had access to normal instruments this album would be much different

That's a pretty obvious statement.
Alright review. I dunno bout Burzum.

Crysis
Emeritus
August 6th 2007


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It was hard to put this album into words for a review..... and I'm not even sure he's capable of putting out another great Black Metal album if he did have all the instruments he needed.This Message Edited On 08.06.07

Cravinov13
August 6th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I voted.



I like this album

masscows
August 6th 2007


2230 Comments


Yeah good review. This sort of thing isn't my thing though, I won't check this out.

Syncratic
August 6th 2007


756 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This album sucks on all levels.

BallsToTheWall
August 6th 2007


49145 Comments


Good review.Must find.

Digging: Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty

LifeInABox
August 6th 2007


3709 Comments


As a Black Metal album, this is a complete failure. As an Ambient album, this is a worthwhile listen.
Which is why Varg strayed from Black Metal, to make an ambient album.

Cravinov13
August 6th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

actually jail transfers strayed him from black metal. :p

Angmar
August 6th 2007


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Damn you I wanted to review this :mad:



Oh well its my fault for being lazy. This is a really good review though and I pretty much agree, this album is a million times better than Daudi.

Cravinov13
August 6th 2007


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd review this but I'm probably lazy-er.

Angmar
August 7th 2007


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Am I the only one who thinks Die Liebe Nerþus' sounds the the harry potter movie theme? :p

rattlehead42147
August 7th 2007


1345 Comments


cool review once again dude!

Crysis
Emeritus
August 7th 2007


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Rattle



Am I the only one who thinks Die Liebe Nerþus' sounds the the harry potter movie theme?




lol ya now that you mention that it sorta does sound like it.

Wizard
August 7th 2007


20203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Excellent review once again. I had no idea Varg put out an ambient album. Im kind of curious now into checking this out. Sounds interesting enough!

Crysis
Emeritus
August 7th 2007


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just be warned, I was expecting something much different but I was still surprised to know this was the same guy who put out Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Det Som Engang Var.

Unreal
August 7th 2007


229 Comments


Nice review, i'm quite attracted to check this out

Crysis
Emeritus
August 7th 2007


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's one of the best albums I have to fall asleep to.

SCREAM!
January 28th 2008


15754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You compared this album to the song Tomhet, does that mean every song is basically one or two bars repeated over and over for 14 minutes? If so, i'll be staying away from this. Tomhet is what stopped me from giving Hvis Lysett Tar Oss a perfect 5.

Crysis
Emeritus
January 28th 2008


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

On some songs that is the case, on others it varies a little. This is quite a hard album to really get into.

Hawks
March 29th 2008


64303 Comments


At least we're going to get more Black Metal albums when he gets out of prison.

Digging: Azelisassath - In Total Contempt of All Life



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy