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Aske not. - 55%

LordPilate, July 7th, 2009

Burzum plays what is easily my favorite metal music, but as most people will usually say, there is at least SOMETHING by a favorite artist that you don't like. Seeing that this release contains three songs, I'll give up to 33% points per song.

The first track on 'Aske' is 'Stemmen Fra Tårnet.' Regardless of how I feel about the EP as a whole, this song is one of my favorite songs by Burzum. It would easily be my favorite if it weren't for the abrupt ending of the song. When I first listened to 'Aske,' I had downloaded it from the internet, and I thought that the person I had gotten it from had a messed-up release. However, when I bought the 'Burzum / Aske' release from a local record store to check, the same abrupt ending was present. If this song had an ending that did not make the song seem fragmented, 'Aske' would be considerably higher rated. The lyrics tell of a journey through a dark and dreary forest after being summoned by a voice.

The second track, 'Dominus Sathanas,' is a nearly instrumental track that is a slow transition into the final track. The pace of 'Dominus Sathanas' doesn't feel right after the force of 'Stemmen Fra Tårnet,' but after the first minute or so, the pace seems natural. It is a fairly peaceful song for black metal, besides the one line of vocals: "AAAARRRGHHHH!!!"

'A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit' is the final track, and transitions in very smoothly after 'Dominus Sathanas.' The version of 'A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit' on 'Aske' is an extended mix of the same track on Burzum's self-titled debut album. Besides the fact that the version on 'Aske' is about 2 minutes longer, it also has a different atmosphere than that from 'Burzum.' The version on this EP feels a little slower and restrained. The vocals on both versions tell a story of death, and the decay of this death comes even after his death when he return as a ghost.

'Aske' is an EP that Varg regretted releasing, according to an interview on metalcrypt.com. In his own words: "I wish I had never recorded this mini-LP in the first place, because it is only an mini-LP, and I don't like neither EPs, mini-LPs, "best of" albums, compilations or singles. If it's not a full-length album it's not worth releasing..." It doesn't surprise me, then, that I do not like this album. I read the interview (http://www.metalcrypt.com/pages/interviews.php?intid=170) after I had already listened to 'Aske,' so that didn't sway how I felt about the work. But, knowing that he wasn't fully satisfied with this work might show why I don't like it. If the artist isn't completely behind his work, he can't expect others to be.

I can never complain about Varg's talent. What people have to remember is that even if they don't like the music of Burzum, it is all recorded by one person (not counting Euronymous' solo in 'War' from Burzum's debut). All of the instruments were recorded separately and put together with great attention how they would flow together, and those deep, piercing shrieked vocals come from the same man. However, compared to some of Varg's other works, the lengths of the latter two tracks on 'Aske' detract from how much I enjoy it. I don't have a problem with long songs, necessarily, but compared to Burzum's earlier work, the longer songs are less enjoyable.

The final scores for the songs are:

''Stemmen Fra Tårnet' - 30%
'Dominus Sathanas' - 15%
'A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit' - 10%

Overall - 55%