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Pointless no matter how you judge it - 13%

BastardHead, February 24th, 2009

In the name of science, I am going to be as objective as possible in my critique of Burzum's first foray into pure ambiance, Daudi Baldrs. In order to do this, I am going to look at and judge the album from several angles in an attempt to leave all bias out of the picture. In order to remain focused on objectivity, an approach like this is entirely necessary.

FROM A TECHNICAL STANDPOINT: The entire album is made using a MIDI device. Let it be known that MIDI is not an automatic allegiance to suck, and most of the best classic videogame tunes were made with this or can easily be replicated this way. Therefore, I can't bash Varg for releasing an album with this sound, even if it is kind of what he was stuck with at the time. But by that same respect, I can not forgive him for the mind bogglingly lazy songwriting. Each song is quite literally one or two melodies across five instruments that are repeated ad nauseam. There is absolutely no substance to virtually any song here. If you listen attentively, you're likely to fall asleep. If you keep it as background music, you're likely to never notice it's playing. If you put it on when you try to fall asleep, you'll be unable to sleep because you'll be shaking with rage due to how ungodly boring and pointless this album is. I don't know what kind of human being would hear this and be 100% satisfied with it's content. I understand that Varg comes from a somewhat minimalistic black metal background, but this is pushing it. I've heard more interesting SunnO))) songs, and I fucking HATE drone.

AS A BLACK METAL ALBUM: Ha, this isn't black metal. I know some people who hate this purely because of that, and think it shouldn't have the name of Burzum on it because of it. I just want to point out how absurd that is. Worry not, I'm not actually judging this as a black metal album.

AS AN AMBIENT ALBUM: I am, however, going to judge it as a piece of ambient music. In this respect, it fails extremely hard. Sure, an ambient soundscape shouldn't take center stage and kick your ass like so many other forms of music. But it shouldn't be this utterly inconsequential either. The only reason any of this is memorable is because of the unabashed repetition. Remember what made St. Anger so awful? It was the fact that every song was basically one mediocre/bad song repeated twice from front to back, Varg accomplished this very feat six years prior. Hell, I think the opener is one song repeated three times for nine minutes. Since he made this with a computer, he quite literally copy pasted the same bullshit over and over and over again for seemingly no reason other than to PISS ME OFF. I'll give him credit for at least getting the general atmosphere that he intends to exude to come across well, it's just unfortunate that it drags on for so long. It's unnecessary to prolong these compositions as long as most of them have been. Surely, ten minutes isn't overkill, especially for this genre, but ten minutes is sure as shit overkill for three melodies. The general mood of the album is great, but the content is lacking and frustrating as a result. No development, no evolution, no point. This is an entire album of town music from Zelda. You know, the simple theme that was made to loop endlessly and convey very little. Sure, there's a bit more emotion and suspense in here, but not enough to not imagine Hermodor A Helferd playing over the scene as I punt chickens around Kakariko Village.

AS A COASTER: This seems to be the one thing that this CD is good for. It is wide enough to cover most any size can/bottle of beverage and thick enough to keep the moisture from soaking through. The only downside is that it's rather pricey for it's apparent intended usage. Also, the material and smooth texture allow it to slide around a little bit more than is comfortable, but it keeps the Schitz sweat off of my coffee table, so I endorse Varg's unintended line of coasters.

AS A FRISBEE: This is probably the most fun you can have with the disc, but it's also the most dangerous. If you are playing with a partner that throws it too hard, there is a possibility you could cut your hand or get the CD embedded in your skull. And after the headache and metaphorical embedding it'll give you from listening to it, this is the last thing you want to happen. If you try to avoid this problem by playing fetch with your dog, this is only good for one throw, as your dog's bite will most likely break it.

FINAL THOUGHT: Well, no matter how you judge it, this isn't worth much at all. It's an incredibly boring journey through what should be a fascinating and encapsulating story. Daudi Baldrs features six pedestrian compositions with no development in the melodies within each track. No progression, no substance, no value. Seriously, when people don't give enough of a shit to spell the artist's fucking name correctly on the cover, you know you've cocked up big time.