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For Fans Of BURZUM!!! - 75%

chunderbolt, May 19th, 2010

This is an album review, not a history lesson, so I'll do just that, REVIEW THE ALBUM!

Firstly, this album is not some magic, amazing new style pulled out of vargs arse, but it certainly does contain a fresh progression of his style of music. It seems a lot of people have found the tracks Belus Doed and Glemselens Elv to be "old style Burzum" and therefore not worthy. In my opinion, this couldn't be further from the truth. While it is similar to "old style Burzum", this certainly doesn't make it any less worthy. I think they are the best two songs on the album, and not only that, but by a long shot. This is classic Burzum executed brilliantly, and hey, I'm a Burzum fan so why would I be complaining? 15 years is a long time to listen to four quality albums. You find yourself wishing there was more of this, and Belus delivers.

Kaimadalthas Nedstigning is often referred to as the standout track. It is different in style to his previous work definitely, but while the main riff is quite "panicy" and chaotic, it lacks the melancholy and despair of what I believe to be his best stuff. Then it goes into a clean vocal chant over a tremolo picked guitar and a single 1, 2, 3, 4 kick drum beat. I find it incredibly annoying and I always skip this track. It lacks all the emotional quality that I love, and the image of a hideous Ork in a cave making music is gone and it sounds like a guy in a recording studio.

In brief, Sverddans is thrashy, pretty good. Keilohesten is more fast paced black metal, and very good.

Morgenroede is a nice song. Different enough to please the bored, and filled with emotion to please sensitive types like me (for music soothes even the savage beast!). The second half of the song utilizes a quite melancholic quiet riff with an unusual drum machine beat to accompany it. It actually works quite well and, I must say, the diversity it creates for the album is great. The final song, Belus' Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon) is a continuation of Morgenroede, but it's fairly boring and a bit flat, reminding me of the Gebrechlichkeit songs from Filisofem. If you like that style of song you might like it but I don't so ha!

And the Vocals: Vargs vocals aren't his usual unique shrieks that I love so much, and I find they are sorely missed. He instead goes with a more typical style black metal growl, which isn't bad but it's like going back to condoms when you've been doing bareback.

Finally, the production: I don't love it, but I don't hate it. This is his first digital studio album as all his previous releases were analogue. I wish he went with analogue, because Belus is a bit thin and airy. I love a bit of filth to an album and it's needed for the bleak atmosphere of Burzum's music. Belus is still cold as ever though and it isn't by any means a Nuclear Blast style production at all (THANK ODIN!!).

So for the few songs I think are annoying and boring, and the "meh" ok production and vocals, I have deducted points. But for brilliant tracks like the ones I mentioned I definitely think this album is a MUST for Burzum fans. If you don't like old Burzum, then why bother in the first place?