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A Rare Case of a True Comeback - 90%

throwbaiis, March 10th, 2011

Bands never really make full comebacks when they go bad, a metalhead knows this better than anyone. But in retrospect, Varg never really did lose his musical touch, he was just unable to utilize it when stuck in a jailcell with nothing but a keyboard. To say the least, I was very pleasantly surpised with this album, having my expectations set down by the underwhelming Belus. I can understand taking an album or two to get back on your feet after a decade of inactivity, and Varg does this gracefully with Fallen.

The guitar tone is sharp and buzzy as you'd come to expect from Burzum, reminicent of Filosofem but much more in the spectrum of a "normal" guitar tone. It fits perfectly with the feel of this album, piercing you with a cold treble rather than bassy warmth. Just what every black metal album needs.

The drums are well-played and perfectly audible whether it be blast beats or normal rhythms, a large improvement over the muffled sound of Belus. Given, they are more repetitive than other drumming jobs you might hear, but that's always been Vargs style. the drums don't always need to overshadow everything, they just need to work well with the song. This also holds true for the bass. The guitars are really the center of this album, and the bass compliments them well without being overbearing or underwhelming.

The only thing I would change about this album is Varg's vocals. while I do like the new "evil goblin" style vocals, I would prefer the tortured cries of old Burzum any day. Maybe Varg can't do his old vocal style after being in prison for over a decade, who knows. I just know that Varg has plenty of vocal talent he could build upon. Speaking of which, the clean vocals on this album are a welcome addition. they are pretty frequent on this album, so it's a good thing that he does them well. they really make this album feel authentically Norwegian, as opposed to many bands where you don't care because they all sound the same.

It's good to see that one of the former kings of Norwegian black metal is back on his throne. I hope that there will be many more Burzum albums in the future, judging by the current direction he is headed. I would definitely recommend Fallen to anyone with an interest in Burzum