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Varg Has Returned - 80%

violentrestitution, December 5th, 2011

After a long 11 years Varg is back with Belus. My first impressions of this album were pretty good, sounding almost like a mix of Filosofem and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, which is undoubtedly a good thing. The album starts off with some sort of introduction which sounds like ping pong or something, then shortly after comes Belus' Død. Now this IS a good track no doubt, obviously a metal version of the song Daudi Baldrs with some Jesus Tod thrown in there. Each track stands out in its own way, nothing really sounds the same, and you even get some clean, spoken vocals in some songs such as Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning, Morgenrøde, and Glemselens Elv, which is a nice change.

The production on this album is raw, cold, and exactly what you'd expect from a Burzum release. Nothing is hidden behind anything and you can hear each instrument very well. The guitar is the usual buzzsaw riffing you would expect, the drums sound great, and you can actually hear the bass guitar, and of course, the vocals. They have evolved so much since the self-titled album (obviously). They sound like Filosofem without all that distortion, which is something interesting to hear coming from someone who sounded like a screeching morbid cat on the self-titled (don't get me wrong, I love that album and the vocals on it).

As for the lyrics, I've looked around and I can't seem to find the English lyrics, so I can't really review them, but I do know one thing and that's the more you listen to this album, the more you will learn about it. You probably won't catch everything the first time as there are some very memorable riffs here such as Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning and Sverddans, which sound very thrashy considering what we are use to. These songs are fast, angry, and have some pretty cool riffs. Some songs even have solos (such as Sverddans) which I thought was a pretty nice addition.

I am kind of disappointed that Varg left out some of the ambient tracks that were originally suppose to be included, which he stated in a review on his website, but I am quite happy with the overall length of the album, and depending on how good those tracks were, I cannot judge if they would drag the album out or actually have a purpose. But personally I enjoy ambient stuff, so I am curious.

I gave this an 80 because it's nothing incredible or original, but it's the same old Burzum you would expect, except done very well. If you like black metal or if you would like to get into black metal, this is one of the albums I would recommend. It's easy to get into and fairly accessible.

I am happy with this release and I think it's a nice addition to the Burzum library. Worth checking out.

Highlights: Belus' Død, Glemselens Elv, Sverddans.