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Burzum is a nostalgic name for me. I remember being in high school wearing my black metal patches and listening to Aske and Deathcrush (Mayhem). I was one of the few kids in the scene that never really got involved in the Burzum v. Mayhem thing. So Euronymous got stabbed by Varg…big deal. They were both kids and both were idiots. It’s just two people. Besides, Euronymous only wrote one good full length and one good EP. For a while, it was hard to expect Varg Vikernes to make any new music (other than his shitty ambient) since he was in jail, but it happened. In 2010, he graced us with Belus, a Filosofem revival sound. It was mediocre compared to Filosofem, however, but still decent enough to listen to. Not even a year later, and Varg released Fallen…and it’s amazing.
The first thing I noticed is that it is seriously exactly like Filosofem, unlike Belus, which only drew influence from that album. Most of the songs have the same exact rythem, length, meter and tone as Filosofem. Hell, even some of the lyrics are the same. This is both a bad thing and a good one.
Bad for the fact that he didn’t really try too terribly hard to find a new sound…but hey, it’s black metal, what do you expect? Progression?
It’s good though, because Filosofem was amazing, and probably my favorite Burzum album following Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, which was by far his best album.
I was impressed with the overall sound though. It felt really atmospheric and shoegazy. That’s the type of Burzum I like…not the one when his singing is huh…wow (all you true Burzum fans will get the joke). Varg really changed his screaming - even since the last album. It’s more focused, less about being polarizing, more about being true to his beliefs, emotions, thoughts and music. I really liked his melodic vocals and spoken word parts in most every song. The first time I heard him sing, I was so glad, I think I cried a little.
There’s never much to say about the instrumentals for Burzum (guitar, bass and drums usually focus on the same structure - Power chords or tremolo picking, simplistic open note chords for bass, blast beats or eighth note drums), though one stands out. The end track, “Til Hel og Tilbake Igjen”. This song was so un-Burzum. It was basically just drums, but it was amazing. It was almost drone (a genre I am very in love with). It reminded me of much of the Dronevil album (Boris, 2005).
All in all, it’s better than Belus, about on par with Filosofem, but still didn’t come close to Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, and I don’t think anything of his ever will. If anything, get the album to hear his new sound. Download it if you have to, but I know that I’ll shell out the 15 bucks to get this album when I have the money.