Burzum
Filosofem


5.0
classic

Review

by thezouz USER (19 Reviews)
March 9th, 2019 | 36 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A black metal classic.

Black metal can be a complicated genre to talk about, both music-wise and musician-wise. It is not just music that made black metal a big deal, it was the intire movement. While black metal certianly has its roots in the 1980's, it is Norwegian black metal that most of people think of. While the movement itself was pretty brutal and dark, the music that came out of it actually brought some interesting ideas to the extreme metal genre. A lot of classic bands came out of that era, and surely one of the more popular was one-man band, Burzum.

Varg Vikernes was the sole member of this band that rose to fame in the scene in the early 90's. While I am not personally the biggest fan of Varg, Burzum actually is a band worth hearing (tho the bad thing for die-hards is that he does not preform live). His early records are still some of the most iconic in the genre (tho not the best by any means), and while people have their favorites, this record, "Filosofem", is in my opinion his finest work.

Yeah, it still is a black metal record, Varg's vocals are still highly distorted and animalic, and the intire thing sounds like it was recorded with a voice recorder on the cell phone. The guitar is as raw as ever, and the songs are insanely repetitive, but that's sort of the aesthetic of the times.

However, this is the first record where he started to infuse more ambient stuff in. It is audible from the very first track, "Dunkelheit", that this is not the standard black metal release. The first three songs definitely use ambient noises as a suplement, but it gets very present on the last few tracks. Songs are very long, all above 7 minutes, and track 5 (I don't dare to spell it), is almost 27 minutes in length.

Tho this works for the better in my opinion. The added keys feel fairly hypotic, especially on the said track. It is a minimalistic 'little' piece which builds up and it goes back to bare bones several times throughout the song (and Varg also used it pretty frequently in his YouTube videos). It is so good that Mike Will Made It sampled it in one of his songs. It is about as transcendent as it gets here, it truly takes you on a journey, so 27 minutes don't feel so long at all. "Jesu Dod" and "Dunkelheit" are classic Burzum jams with great riffs and wild vocals. Song have no chorus, and while they do repeat some sections several times, they do not overstay their welcome. In between of track five are placed "Descrepitude" I and II . While in first one Varg's vocals are all over the place and it is all backed up with ultra distorted rhythm guitar, the second one build up for half of the track, and remains distorted until the very end, where he slows it down for 5 second and the record is over. You've just sit through about 1 hour of great super unpolished, unclean riffs, atmospheric beats and keyboard, great lead guitar work on some of the songs, and I guess decent lyrics (I would tell you what they were about if I knew Norwegian). It doesn't matter though, since Varg completely sells it with the vocals.

Execution of the intire record is simply beautiful. It is not techincally played, not really at any point, but it does not need to be. It is an ambitious and experimental record, that stands uniquely in the black metal world. It will take you to another dimension, especially as the second half rolls and it is definitely a good starting point if you want to get into the genre. Definitely a classic for its time.



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user ratings (1588)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nash J! (4)
"Beware of the light, it may take you away, to where no evil dwells. It will take you away...for all...

kalkal50 (4.5)
Filosofem channels emotion through a raw and beautifully simple compilation of ambient black metal....

The Human Language (5)
An unlikely but exquisite realization of the surprising potential of the electric fluid in the rendi...

alecto (4)
Cold, dark and evil, this album is what the Norwegian black metal scene was about. True, it could ha...


Comments:Add a Comment 
thezouz
March 9th 2019


69 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Guess now people will be weirded out how I switched from butt rock to Burzum in half a day

Digging: Lou Reed and Metallica - Lulu

sixdegrees
March 9th 2019


5642 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so random XD

Digging: Rei Clone - Greetings From Somewhere

hal1ax
March 9th 2019


13282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Soooooo weird

Tyler.
March 9th 2019


16439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/12-things-people-with-weird-taste-music-know





ugh preach

AgentDeathbat
March 9th 2019


9596 Comments


does he still sound like a dying cat here

Digging: Attalus - Into the Sea

Eakflanderyof
March 9th 2019


2463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Naw just a regular one

hal1ax
March 9th 2019


13282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still can’t believe how you went from the lowly butt rock to the likes of buzrum in .5 days !

thezouz
March 9th 2019


69 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I actually was into Burzum long before I turned to post grunge but i still loved this one, so i decided to mix things up a bit and take a break from butt rock

sixdegrees
March 9th 2019


5642 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually was into Burzum long before I turned to post grunge






......

naughtcturnal
March 9th 2019


805 Comments


can relate... became a ''fan'' of Emmure after my black metal phase partly to prove to metalheads in my circle that elitism is retarded. little did I know, I was the retarded one

Digging: Leviathan - The First Sublevel of Suicide

WeepinnWillow
March 9th 2019


233 Comments


elitism is still retarded though

Digging: I Set My Friends On Fire - You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter

AgentDeathbat
March 9th 2019


9596 Comments


[2]

deezer666
March 9th 2019


3958 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not as much as Butt rock

WeepinnWillow
March 9th 2019


233 Comments


breaking news: guy on internet has unpopular opinion, police called, full report at 7

OldCrime
March 9th 2019


371 Comments


I actually was in Burzum long before I turned to post grunge.

Digging: Vehemence (FRA) - Par le sang versé

hal1ax
March 9th 2019


13282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i sold varg a printer once

AdolfChrist
March 9th 2019


20296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Guess now people will be weirded out how I switched from butt rock to Burzum in half a day"



Nah, probably not.

Digging: Somali Yacht Club - The Sea

WeepinnWillow
March 9th 2019


233 Comments


I was Burzum long before I turned post grunge.

J() Alexander
March 9th 2019


6054 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Varg is my uncle.

Source
March 9th 2019


9261 Comments


He is from mexico



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