Burzum - Lord of Darkness Anthology CD Review (Candlelight Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Burzum - Lord of Darkness Anthology CD Review (Candlelight Records)

Burzum - Anthology CD Review (Candlelight Records)It is hard to know where to start with this review -- Burzum is a one-man black-metal project of Varg "Count Grishnackh" Vikernes, who was the one-time bass player for the Norwegian black-metal band Mayhem. Vikernes has been in jail since 1993 after being sentenced to 21 years imprisonment for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Oystein "Euromymous" Aarseth and a number of church arsons.

A number of Burzum CDs have been released while Vikernes has been in prison and this anthology covers tracks from Burzum's recording career from 1991 - 1999.

There are nine tracks on this disc:

1) Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown: is from Burzum's self-titled debut in 1992. This is a lo-fi recording that, musically, would be comparable to Christian Death's Only Theatre of Pain or Deathwish. The gothic music is complemented by Burzum's genre-expected "tortured death rasp" vocals

2) Stemmen Fra Taarnet (The Voice From The Tower): is from the 1993 Aske EP. Like a couple of the tracks that follow, the music starts to drift further into the area of goth-punk.

3-4) Lost Wisdom & Svarte Troner: are from Burzum's second LP Det Som Engang Var. The first song continues in the same goth/death rock vein as Stemmen Fra Taarnet while Svarate Troner is an ambient instrumental piece.

5) Det Som En Gang Var (That Which Once Was): is from the Hvis Lyset Tar Oss album. This track, which is mostly instrumental, is an aggressive 14 minute soundscape that is powered by pounding drums, a gothic keyboard sound and clean, ringing guitars.

6-7) Jesus' Tod (Jesus' Death) and Gebrechlichkeit II (Decrepitude): are both from Filosofem. Burzum's musical style continues to shift and the best comparison to Jesus' Tod would be Ministry. The song's intensity is powered by some aggressive drum work and Vikerens' vocals are as clean as I have ever heard them.

Gebrechlichkeit II shifts styles again and is an ambient piece that would be comparable to some of the work of Brian Eno. This is an all instrumental piece where machine noises are combined with low-tuned fuzzed guitars and a delicate piano sound.

8) Balferd Baldrs (The Burning of Balder): is from Dauoi Baldrs. This is a keyboard-based piece that includes both strings and horns.

9) Ansuzgardaraiwo (Warriors Of Asgard): is from Hlioskj√°lf. This is another keyboard-based piece but the arrangement is much more sparse and mechanical sounding than Balferd Bladrs.

For someone like myself who wasn't that familar with Burzum's music, this anthology serves as a fascinating introduction to Vikerens' music and its evolution over the years.

Burzum's Website