without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Burzum, a band that has been cause for quite a stir the world round, and though unacknowledged by a rather religious like fan base, has always been the constructor of it's own demise. Shall we recall the statements of how metal is blues based and there for mongrel music? Shall we recall that little Christian was literally one of the least talented guitarist to rise to prominence in his era/ sub genre? No, let us just focus on this album, in all its failings and mediocrity, and attempt to digress there.
This review rating reflects my opinion today (updated 1/31/11), and I am rather thinking it's still too generous.
If you look at certain points in contemporary music history, you will notice distinct changes in musical style, almost in reversion, or aversion to what once was. There was: the Rock of the guitar gods from the late 60's to mid/early 70's, then came the early off shoots of both Metal, and Punk. Following the late 70's early 80's Heavy Metal, and Punk movements came the Thrash(etc.) Metal of the mid to late 80's. Which then saw the emergence of Death, and Black Metal hordes of the late 80's/ early 90's which is where we find this record emerging. Brief as it may be, I would say that run through is generally a valid account. With said, Burzum are the cliche of the 90's Black Metal movement, as much of their fan base hinges on the subjective pop culture model of sheep following sensationalism. With the self propelled relationship to media outlets, criminal justice, nationalism/ racism, and the esoteric I would say attention whore, and deluded egotistical prick are a few descriptors which come to mind first. But on to the music...
Basically consisting of a handful of raw Black Metal tracks matched to some Ambient portions, this release locks in at mediocre at best, but in all actuality would have been forgotten long ago if it weren't for the sensationalism surrounding the composer. This records historical importance is highly debatable, and in no way was this essential to the survival of this genre. In fact in little time this album would be easily over shined by much more competent musicians, and bands going, musically, beyond what Burzum was even capable. The music on here is trite at best; a far cry from genius. Take the first 3 minutes of Inn I Slottet, which I find rather headache inducing, and utterly boring due to repetitive riff suicide of a banal structure that wasn't interesting to begin with. Then take the musicianship that, in general, lingers between sloppy, and poor most of the time. Seriously, I just do not see how people can wank on this one so feverishly, when you look at how incompetent the composer was in all standard aspects of craft.
What some people are labeling as genius is really just simple chord progressions with tinges of ambiance, an underlying level of pseudo-profundity, and mixed in ever so lightly, some European thrash influences. Now consider that those variances built around an abundance of repetition, novice guitar skills, and there you have it, so called genius. That's really the best way one can sum this up with. Fresh, hey garbage has its better days, when it was released, this album has not stood strong, and remained untarnished by the test of time,...and sadly with its ever growing market for demand it seems to keep getting worse. If the worst by product of Burzum was simply to inspire a wealth of talentless losers into picking up guitars, I'd say its was pretty forgivable. But, from its fans alone, who endlessly shit all over hundreds of far superior Metal albums in the futile charge that this is the 'end all be all' of true Metal-hood, Burzum is left as legendary hype, a bad cliche, and pathetic hipster trash. Almost ironic to think about what a trend Burzum became, and is, when you consider how against trends it started as. Though I'd argue that was nothing more than a child's posing as rebellious.
Again, I'll repeat, the worst part of Burzum is the undeserved over kill its fans give it. Probably has lowered my opinion of the band numerous times, as if Vargs continual simple minded neurotic antics weren't enough. I'd recommend a lot of Norwegian Black Metal releases over this one, at least fifteen sit on the top of my head, but it'd be about as pointless as buying this album. Speaking of pointless, the horrible ambient music that is Tomhet on here is a perfect example of Varg attempting to craft something along the lines of post 70's Tangerine Dream music but failing due to an inability to play cleanly, and actually write overlapping melody with out droning into death by repetition. Building an atmosphere is one thing, but your build up has to actually go some where, not just drop out into another over dub of multiple minutes of repeating boredom. Oh, I give up, this album is just too difficult to make through again (as it has been a while since my last play, though I've heard this album many times).
In closing, this is not genius, I'm not impressed, and by today's standards has grown rather stale, and childish due to the less than stellar musicianship, and musical ideas that just weren't that strong. Do not buy this garbage.