03/09/2010 - 8,159 views

Burzum - Belus

345 reviews

Does Burzum really need an introduction anymore? Varg Vikernes, the sole component to Burzum, has had the last 16 years of his life well documented due to the murder of Oystein “Euryonymous” Aarseth and his involvement in the arson of several churches. Engulfed in controversy, Vikernes forged on and continued to release music while incarcerated and his last album, Hlioskjalf, was released in 1999. Nearly 11 years ago to the date, the man known as Count Grishnackh returns his newest Burzum outing entitled Belus. Named after the European “White God”, the album tells the story of Belus’ death, somber journey to the realm of death, and his magnificent return. However, this album is marred in controversy as well because it is believe to be racist in nature.

Where do I begin to tackle this beast? It took me quite a few listens to this ever controversial album. Having an idea of what I’d be getting myself into by having the knowledge of the sounds from some of the earlier albums, on the surface I was delivered a lot of what I expected. Knowing that Varg has been away from instruments for 16 years, I knew that the ambience from the last two records was going to make its presence known on this record. It doesn’t take long as the opening track, Leukes Renkespill, is 33 seconds of just an eerie guitar riff that is laced with the ambient styling that appeared on Dauoi Baldrs. This sound carries into the first real track of the album and keeps the theme going even into the 3rd song. Not until track 4’s, Kaimadalthas Nedstigning, does Varg start to dabble with writing more traditional black metal riffs. It’s in this track though he not only goes back to tradition but he shows his song writing depth as half the track features a more light hearted melody with spoken word and clean vocals overlapping eachother at times. Not ever being a real fan of this project, I can easily say this is the best song he has ever written. Track 5’s, Sverddans, makes me think he’s been listening to a lot of 80’s thrash bands as the main riff sounds like it was stolen from the Slayer book of song writing. The next two tracks continue with the more traditional black metal sound but slowly start to drift back into the dark ambient sound that appeared in the beginning of the record. The final track, Belus Tilbakekoomst, is a 9 minute instrumental that really shows that Varg put a lot of his heart into writing. While the main riffs seem simple enough it’s the layer that will ultimately grab you and hold onto you until the song concludes.

It’s been years since the last time I picked up a Burzum record to listen to. The Aske EP is about the only album I could claim to enjoy. It was long enough just for me to enjoy fully. The production on most of the earlier Burzum works was near unlistenable for me. If I’m not mistaken I heard that one of his records he didn’t even have an amp to play out of and instead plugged right into a boom box. Reading that this album was recorded in a studio with all the latest technology, I fully expected to hear Burzum in a nature that I would really enjoy. Well I was half correct in my anticipation. This record is the best that Varg’s project has ever sounded. The production is world’s better than any previous outing but still maintains the raw sound that Black Metal enthusiasts fiend for. It’s not 100% what I want but I can appreciate the balance.

Varg stated in an interview that he wanted to create a record that people would listen and talk about for years to come. I’m personally interested in knowing if he feels like he hit his mark or did he fail/exceed his expectations. While this album was interesting to say the least, I know that I, personally, will probably forget about this album in the near future as it didn’t do much to blow me away on the level that Varg was hoping. The album is definitely interesting but for someone like me who is unable to make the claim to being a Burzum fan, this didn’t do much to win me over. Kaim






Genre: Metal / Documentary

Label: Byelobog Productions

Site: Related Link

Similar: Mayhem, Old Funeral, Darkthrone

Track Listing

  1. Leukes renkespill (Introduksjon)
  2. Belus' død
  3. Glemselens elv
  4. Kaimadalthas' nedstigning
  5. Sverddans
  6. Keliohesten
  7. Morgenrøde
  8. Belus' tilbakekomst (Konklusjon)
Comments (11)
3/9/2010 11:14:00 AM
Did that interview ever go down?
3/9/2010 11:15:00 AM
I just emailed the PR guy about it because i never heard anything further. I'm waiting to hear from him now. So if all goes well i'm hoping to be submitting my questions for "interrogation" today.
Matti Frost
3/9/2010 12:02:00 PM
Nice review, Wren. Makes me want to check it out.
3/9/2010 12:40:00 PM
this is my favorite burzum record. i was never a huge fan but he won me over with this one.
$teve grove
3/9/2010 12:41:00 PM
i downloaded it a while back and just kinda skimmed over each track. full listen is required.
VVes 570
3/9/2010 1:56:00 PM
I hate this band
3/9/2010 1:57:00 PM
Originally posted by: Wes Mantooth

I love this man

3/9/2010 7:12:00 PM
killer record and review
3/9/2010 10:08:00 PM
really enjoyed it, great with beers
Peter SteeleyDan
3/9/2010 11:57:00 PM
3/17/2010 4:51:00 AM
Amazing album