Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Burzum - Fallen (2011)

Burzum is a musical project of Varg Vikernes, he does all the instrumentation and his music outside the Black Metal or Dark Ambient sphere is not as known as his personal conflicts with the law, both with murder and church burning; he’s also related to some racist controversy and paganism; because of murder and church burning he did jail time the last 16 years and produced a lot of his music in jail with help of a fan that made a record label just for the purpose of putting out his music. In Norway the Black Metal has had very serious controversy and from the people’s point of view it has been a very criticized genre due to the people that started, involved in sever acts of vandalism, murder and very nasty and absurd suicides. So yes, Black Metal has had a very doubtful start in Norway but for many people this has been part of the charm of it. My opinion is that if you need to like the music for the personal history of the artists you’re more into it as a form of dogmatic religion and not as a music follower. Let’s face it, I love Bob Dylan or Cat Power, and probably I admire things about their personal lives, but that’s not what makes their music good, because I recognize that they’ve had terrible albums as anyone could.

That was the case of Burzum’s “Belus” LP, it was his first LP after more than 10 years and the first one he released since Vikernes got out of jail, and maybe had to do with that sense of freedom but the album was so loud that lost the qualities that Burzum had in the previous releases. Of course, the violent nature and the tinning guitars overshadowing every other sound in the record found some experimentation that were interesting in comparison to previous albums, this was finding Vikernes vocals clean on some moments and not this very agonizing wolf deep voice he’s characterized. In terms of Buzz, probably “Belus” had more buzz than “Fallen” has had this year, but musically speaking, Fallen is an honest attempt to push the previous sound of Burzum without destroying it in a very violent way like “Belus”.

I’ve never been a fan of Black Metal or almost any kind of Metal, and I hardly compromise to one genre, that’s why probably my critique of this record this time around can be easily criticized by some hardcore Metal fan, but we’re not talking about a closed logia, since the beginning the buzz around Burzum has crossed over to other listeners, thing that made him had conflict of ingresses with the record label of his later murder victim Øystein Aarseth (Deathlike Slice Records).

In terms of sound Fallen seems much more calmed, it has 7 songs but two of them are intro and outro very spacey and slow with different instrumentation from the rest of the album, so is practically a 5 songs album of almost 50 minutes. The songs have a production and structure very similar to other Burzum records and still retain some of the heavy grips of “Belus” but more soft with the Lo-Fi qualities and the wolf like voice is actually soft and almost haunting when the choruses of the songs come, for those into Black Metal this will not only be a good album, but the return of Burzum’s sound without sticking to the 90’s concepts, taking what was best from “Belus” and blending it all to the sounds known in classics like “Det Som Engang Var”.


1. Fra Verdenstreet
2. Jeg Faller
3. Valen
4. Vanvidd
5. Enhver til Sitt
6. Budstikken
7. Til Hel og tilbake igjen

Rate: 7.2/10

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