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Burzum has not Fallen! - 99%

Iron Wizard, September 25th, 2015

I'm amazed at the quality of this album. Very few modern black metal albums reach this level of quality. Belus was an excellent release, and Burzum's best in years, but it is not as good as it's follow up, Fallen.

The music on Fallen is beautiful sounding, and, while it has the aggression of black metal, It features extensive use of clean vocals, with the melodicrity of power metal. All of the choruses easily to remember, and they flow really well. Varg does just as good of a job at clean vocals as he does with rasped ones. The vocals on 'Jeg Faller' really stand out, with half of the song featuring well-defined clean vocals. These are actually sung, unlike earlier Burzum clean vocals, which were talked. Varg must have lost a lot of rasp from not singing during his time in prison, as it is unbelievable that this is the same guy who screams his head off with a howled sound. Fallen definitely has its share of rasped vocals as well, with the rasps being far more intense than on Belus, and they also have a slightly howled sound, like early Burzum. 'Vanvidd' has the harshest vocals, with some terrifying shrieks in the middle of the song. It's amazing how flexible his voice is.

The production is excellent, and people who say it's untrue are wrong. The album's production is fitting. A more melodic sound needs cleaner production. Varg himself said that a lot of time was spent on mastering the album. The production is much better than Belus, which, in my opinion, has the worst production of any Burzum album. It's very warm and thick, and everything sounds a bit muffled on that album. The production here is well finished, and it has great sharpness too it, but not to the point where it spoils the album by making it too light. The guitar tone here is also great, being very balanced, and it's not fuzzed or anything. You can hear a lot of what he is playing, but not all, as there are some very intricate overturned riffs as well. Multitracked guitars are a major part of Fallen, and the second, sometimes third guitar adds extra dimension to the album, and it makes everything sound fuller.

In the Burzum tradition, there has to be an ambient song. The ambient song on Fallen is the excellent 'Til Hel Og Tilbake Igjen'. This is a more experimental than ambient piece, actually, but it still manages to carry great ambiance. Some of Burzum's earlier ambient pieces, such as 'Rundgang um die transzendentale Saule der Singularitat' do a great job at creating a dark atmosphere, but they drag on for a little too long. 'Til Hel Og Tilbake Igjen' is shorter, and it still is good. There is also an ambient intro, but it isn't really a full song. It's just noise and whispering, rather than an actual composition. Nothing against it though. I find it very enjoyable.

Fallen is an excellent black metal that goes above and beyond with production and composition. I highly recommend that any heavy metal fan buy it.