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Good old Varg Vikernes at his very best days. Vikernes himself claims his music is for Europeans only, is it so wrong that me as being a yank to enjoy this piece of work wrong? It certainly doesn't feel wrong. This album composes 4 long tracks into one amazing composite opus. Many instances on this record surround its listener with deep atmosphere, complex build-ups and memorable musicianship complimented with agonizing vocals. Much of Burzum's work was recorded within the year of 1992, yet released and scattered about within the proceeding years, which means Vikernes himself put a lot of effort into creating the music he did within the first two years of starting Burzum, but simply leaving Hvis lyset tar oss at simply the best of them all.
This album is a classic for many reasons. Its song structure, variety and elements are almost perfectly laminated into the sheer structure of mid-aged black metal. The opening track "Det som en gang var" is a ritual-esque moderate tempo track with a long intro seduces its listener into a forest of dismay that is Burzum. The following song "Hvis lyset tar oss" is a fast-paced beast, bearing the lines of influence to many bands coming above Vikernes' brainchild. Gorgoroth, Emporror, Enslaved among others can be heard having styles within the realm of simply just this one song. The characteristic elements and atmosphere that the backing synthesizers layered above the guitar work almost entwine with each other in the same sense of sitting alone in a forest during a heavy storm.
Even the concept of the record is deep as its music is, according to Vikernes the record is based about "What once was, before the light took us and we rode into the castle of the dream. Into emptiness. It's something like: beware the Christian light, it will take you away into degeneracy and nothingness. What others call light I call darkness. Seek the darkness and hell and you will find nothing but evolution." The fact that its anti-Christian theme seeps amongst its dismal sound is almost the epitome of original black metal. I do not support or unsupport any type of religion in any way personally, but the purist creation and stance of a true black metal remark truly is something to praise
Every song is very different from the last, while I don't so much enjoy the rough blarings of "Inn i slottet fra drømmen", it's usually other things that save my un-enjoyment from things I do enjoy. In this case, Vikernes' drumming on this song is phemonimal and his rhythm guitar parts are also praisable. I also forgot to mention, the bass guitar is clearly audiable most of the time throughout the album while observing the instruments taking the lead above it. It's not so much to praise, but the fact that it's just there is a delight enough.
Finally, the final track "Tomhet" and all its glory closes the album almost perfectly. It's just as its title translate to in English; "empiness" and here, almost every time I hear this song, I'm granted with the feeling of desolation and emptiness. Atmosphere is the key in hearing projects such as Burzum and I believe what truly makes it so great. Hvis lyset tar oss is a record that never went forgotten once in the realm of black metal and for every right reason at that.