Belus - Burzum

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Belus - Burzum

1 CD(s) - Black Metal - Label: Byelobog - Distributor: Plastic Head - Released: 08/03/2010 - 803341321878

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Review of "Belus - Burzum"

published 12/03/2010 | Burning_Darkness
Member since : 12/06/2009
Reviews : 756
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Excellent
Pro some absolutely superb minimalist tracks, recaptures the old magic brilliantly.
Cons Closing part is weaker, those unable to seperate vargs views from his art may struggle to enjoy it
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"Count Grishnakh returns!"

Having been put away in the late 90s for murdering his former associate and label-owner Euronymous and for burning down an ancient stave church, Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnakh, has finally returned to the limelight after more than 15 years in a Norwegian prison with the release of 'Belus', the album being named after a god of ancient mythology analagous to the Norse god Baldur. The album was initially entitled 'The White God', but this was changed, presumably to avoid controversy given Varg's status as something of a far-right poster-figure. Indeed, whilst Varg has always remained a strongly controversial figure, in his work with Burzum he has always left the politics at the door, and this remains the case with Belus.

By and large the album can be considered a continuation of the band's musical trajectory following on from 1996's 'Filosofem', with a strong emphasis on endlessly repetitive and mesmerising, fuzzy riffs and simplistic songstructures of considerably length, though this is mixed in with ancient-sounding, melancholy riffs reminisicent of those on 'Hvis Lyset Tar Oss', particularly on the new track 'Glemselens Elv', which ebbs and flows for nearly twelve-minutes, with a sound that captures the old Burzum magic and stands as one of the most powerful tracks Varg has ever written. The vocals are a mix of guttoral growls similar to those of Gorgoroth's Gaahl (gone are the adeolescent, torturous shrieks of the early days) soaring, clean nordic singing and, on 'Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning', spoken-word parts, with the up-tempo, minimalist riffs rushing along whilst repeats a mantra in norwegian over and over, the music occasionally bursting into flourishes of all-encompassing, searing and distorted melody like the rays of the sun suddenly bursting forth from behind the leaden clouds.

Elsewhere on the album there are fast-paced, almost thrashy sections intersperesd with passages of delerious melody, reminding of the first few Burzum releases if much less raw. The album slows right down and works into a lethargic, mid-paced mire for its final quarter, the music possessing a slightly-post-rockish tinge to them that is feels slighty incongruous, but whilst the final section of the album is not as inspired as the preceding material it is never less than thouroughly decent at any point.

Overall, whilst 'Belus' is a little inconsistent in places the slightly weaker material is carried by a number of songs that are nothing short of brilliant, and all in all the album makes for essential listening for anyone with an interest in pagan/minimalist black metal or nature-based mysticism in general. A grand return!

Tracklisting-

1. Leukes Renkespill (Introduksjon) 00:33
2. Belus' Død 06:23
3. Glemselens Elv 11:54
4. Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning 06:43
5. Sverddans 02:27
6. Keliohesten 05:45
7. Morgenrøde 08:54
8. Belus' Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon) 09:37

Total playing time 50:30

Summary: An excellent return to form overall, despite some more mudane tracks towards the end.

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Comments on this review

  • Ensnareddoom published 14/08/2010
    Awesome Review!
  • MEL0611 published 12/03/2010
    Great review x
  • mrolympia19 published 12/03/2010
    great detailed review, well done
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Product Information : Belus - Burzum

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Black Metal - Label: Byelobog - Distributor: Plastic Head - Released: 08/03/2010 - 803341321878

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EAN: 803341321878

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