|Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown
|Ea, Lord of the Depths
|Black Spell of Destruction
|Channelling the Power of Souls into a New God
|The Crying Orc
|A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit
|My Journey to the Stars
|Dungeons of Darkness
+ Legacy score
- Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown
- Ea, Lord of the Depths
- Black Spell of Destruction
- Channelling the Power of Souls into a New God
- The Crying Orc
- A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit
- My Journey to the Stars
- Dungeons of Darkness
1 Review for 'Burzum - Burzum''Burzum'
One Man Creating a masterpiece which an Orchestra could've only Dream of creating!
before we get into the review for this album (and indeed the Review for 'Det Som Engang Var') i want to start with some disclaimers:
First of all, you might ask why i'm doing reviews on 2 already heavily reviewd albums?
well, partly out of spite and ANGER! when i see the huge backlash against this man and his music, i see a new generation which are being brainwashed with the idea that one of the three important pillars of Norwegian Black Metal never existed (those two remaining pillars are obviously early Mayhem and Darkthrone). we are living in weird times, right? (note that i'm not considering any of Varg's political views while talking about his music)
secondly, i think that these two early Burzum albums are extremely overlooked (on this website & other sources). i used to think that as time grew old i'll discover better bands and would grew out of this band like other Phases that passed me by (especially when i saw that on all websites, other bands in the genre are always given higher praises than any Burzum Album. they must be better right?). none of that happened in the course of the previous 10 years! these 2 albums are the only ones i can name that have stood the time & are still relevant.
this review + 'Det som Engang var' review are intertwined with each other since they are almost 2 parts of the same album and imo are inseperable.
(before i get into the music here i want to give a small background on Varg as a musician rather than the famous Criminal and political backgrounds that we've heard too many times)
This man started to get interested in music at a very young age and got into metal (like every other musician in the scene) with the classic Metal acts from early 80s and then he was exposed to the more underground extreme stuff later on.
according to him, his first song was created at some point around 1987 (whn he was just 14!) and then he got gradually involved with the underground Death metal and thrash metal scene in Bergen and long story short entered to the then-infant Black Metal scene because of his great connections in the Norwegian music industry (e.g. Pytten) and his immense Talents (not the reason people hear from documentaries and stupid movies!)
After a number of experiments with different bandmates and a number of names inspired by LOTR legendarium, he finally arrived at the conclusion that he must go at it alone under the name BURZUM. he recorded a number of demos between 1988 and 1991 which mostly remained unreleased for a long time, one of his demos reached the most important name in the scene, Euronymus. he liked the demo so he signed him to his label. to cut a very long story short, in early 1992, the debut album by a legend to come was released.
let's begin with the well-known Artworks used for these two albums;
at this point, i'm sure that everyone knows the fact that the artwork in the first album is a zoomed-in small portion of the artwork used on the 2nd album. it's from an old RPG cover recreated by the amazing Jannicke Hansen . in my opinion, this move is a very simple yet clever artistic move, since the second album does look and sound like the bigger picture of the first album sonically and lyric-wise. after all, Varg's music was always a story-telling tool according to himself. in the first album (especially on songs like "Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown" and "A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit" you picture the guy in the cover art! an entity/guy who is lost in a dark meaningless void. however; on the second album the picture widens and we can see the thing he is searching in the darkness and the reason behind this madness! (especially on a song like "Key to the Gate" you can easily see what i mean). this might sound like a cliche, but on the first listen, i was mesmerised with this detail. a small achievment in an artistic sense but a huge achievement in the story-telling side!
let's talk about some of the more technical stuff:
the first thing that i think people tend to overlook about this album is the quality of the drumming. this kind of monotonous drumming that was designed to create the hypnotizing atmosphere (which is ideal for a story-telling purpose) instead of the usual technical drumming of Thrash metal/Death metal blast beats, was first used by either VON or Burzum.. the difference is that whereas Von's drum performance was incredibly sluggish, Varg did incredible double bass drumming and thanks to Pytten's Awesome engineering we can hear all the details in a fantastic way (Especially on track s like 'Ea, Lord of the Depths' and 'My Journey to the Stars')
the second thing would be the vocals. Varg himself despises his own vocal performance on these two albums because it resembles Maniac from Mayhem! (According to himself). but i think this is one of his best vocal performances. the growls and howls are incredible natural and moving. you get a sense that Varg actually Tortured himself in order to create the howls and cries in the end of "Black Spell of Destruction"! the re-recorded version of these songs on the 2011 complaition album further proves my point. these vocals are the fucking worst but they are wonderful and full of soul!
the third technical aspect of this album would be the Guitar and Bass Layers. yes LAYERS. his vision for recording multiple layers of riffs and then adding them onto one another was so innovative and new that almost every band in the same veins copied this technique! i'm not certain where he got this talent but for the most part his obssession with Dark-wave and underground techno music must have been an influence.
the bass sound in this record is not ground breaking but they create and overall thick sound and they are actually audible unlike the albums to come (Check FILOSOFEM to see what i mean!)
if you think about it, the riffs are incredible fresh for 1992. there is definetly a lot of Bathory and early Mayhem but i can a lot of Soviet and German War marches in some of them! no single riff is forgettable here. even the hooks are perfect. another great quality about the riffs which is missing from most of the albums that came after it is the huge number of progression and changes in the melodies and riffs. it does not sit on a certain riff for too long. when you're just getting tired from that riff, it changes into a total different riff over and over again! (this quality is missing on some of his other albums like 'Belus'.
there are some cool extra touches like the guitar solos on songs like 'Ea, Lord of the Depths', 'War' (Which was famously performed by Euronymus).
the final aspect would be the songwriting and lyrics. when i first encountered the lyrics on this album, i was shocked about how simple and rhytmless it was written! i was used to hear songs that had at least a tinge of melody and literary qualities. but this was a very new thing. after a couple listens i started to understand the notion behind it; STORY-Telling! again! you can definetly see the Tolkien influence on this man!
a cool touch about the track listing was the act of dividing the album into two sides Just like Bathory; the first side being "Side Hate" & the 2nd side which is titled "Winter"
The first track 'Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown' is probably the perfect description of the state of the musician behind it at the time of recording. it starts with a sinister and hypnotic keyboard layer. then we enter a vortex of freezing cold riffs fueled with the thumping blast beats. the drums rarely change on this song which creates the most hypnotyzing track if you ask me. the song gradually becomes less violent and towards the end its register becoms more evocative than ever! this progression is some of his best in my opinion but hear it from me; it takes a lot of listens to appreciate it! the lyrics are incredibly moving here and shows his anger and melancholy in a fantastic descriptive fashion. the details of the environment are described in a ridiculus way! description of a desolate search, with less and less hope for the future, which appears sad and gloomy.
the 2nd song starts with a badass Drumming that would put philthy 'animal' Taylor to shame! his best drumming by far. the riff is among his top 5 (easily), the lyrics describe the "dragon of Babylon" from the Babylonian mythology.
the third track is probably the most primitive song here but i can name 10s of Melacncholic/Deppressive Black Metal albums that have these riffs as their main riff from start to finish without much change! amazing song amazing riffs. favorite moment must be the stage towards the end in which everything is turned off but the guitars, singing the lyrics are decreased to just howls and cries. ICE COLD! this is by far the most EVIL song on the whole goddamn thing!
the next song is a rather scary, evil ambient song which creates a perfect endpoint for the side "HATE"! if you listen to that song and not feel slightly hypnotized and fallen out of time and space then i suggest you go to your local Black Metal Dr.!
Side "Winter" starts of with a legendary tribute song. a tribute to BATHORY of course! by combing the riff from their song "Necromancy" and the title from the "War" track from the debut 1984 album, Varg plays homage to one of his biggest musical influences in a dramatically impressive way. the riffs are actually way better than the original since the production is way better than Quorthon's Garage days! the vocals does not disappoint either! he does sound like an actual hurt wolf here. the solo in the end is equally amazing!
then we arrive at the rather strange track that is "The Crying Orc". this is probably among the very few "Beautiful" songs in Varg's discography. spanning in less than a minute, it creates a perfect bridge between the most intense and the most melancholic song on the whole side. eager fans of Burzum would easily recognize the melody of this song in other Ambient works from 'Hliðskjálf' and 'Thulêan Mysteries' albums.
'A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit is a 9 minutes long Epic with some of Varg's best and most personal poetry ever. the song starts with a icy cold riff and as we get further it changes pace multiple times which is a must have for any song exceeding 5 minutes! some of the parts are cold, some evil and some damn melancholic! even though i prefer the Re-recorded version of this album that was featured on the mini-LP 'Aske', this one is also very interesting and cool relic.
we close the album with 'My Journey to the Stars', a cosmic Epic song with Varg's misanthropic cries at their best! this song is probably the least Black Metal of the bunch and moves in the veins of Death Metal but it's still Goddamn Burzum! in the conclusion of this song (and indeed this album/Spell) Varg has achieved the most he craved in his heart, which is bringing darkness to the bright and monotonous world he lived in!
as a Conclusion, this album which was composed by means of synths, Guitars, Drums, with a clear visible dark ambient vein, including poetic texts by a single person and not by an actual band, achieved a milestone in music history that massive orchestras with professors as conductors could just dream of!
This rating is inherited from the previous version of the site, and is equivalent to one review.
Buy 'Burzum - Burzum''Burzum'
Buy Burzum albums online
Whenever you buy albums (or anything else) through our site, we receive a few cents for each sale.
This helps us to pay server costs, and remain advert-free. Thank you for your support.