Burzum
Anthology

Is this a feeble scream from the depths of a prison unknown? “I’m getting out soon, look at me, I’m still relevant, I can still channel the power from dark dungeons,” or is he just a lost and forgotten Kristian. An anthology release in advance of a prison release. There are many bands with controversial ethical or political stances that make great music allowing many fans to ignore the politics and enjoy the music. There are many bands equally controversial that without the political stance would not even be discussed at all because the music is weak. Wheather you learned of Varg Vikernes through his church burnings, his murder, or his Nazi propaganda, it is safe to say you did not learn of him first through his music.

I think for the most part fans get his music to hear what it sounds like and learn to like it because they want to like it. Varg would do just as well financially to release a t-shirt instead of a cd because these mass market morons do not really plan on listening to the music anyway, they just want people to think they do. Which brings up the question of the rest of us. We already have the cds and already know what the music is all about. I can’t help but think the reason so many bands have sprung up emulating the sound of Burzum is because of idolatry, worshipping the idealized Varg’s ideology. Whatever the origin, we are now blessed with so many Burzumesque bands of superior quality we don’t really need the original anymore.

Cymophane Productions first released this anthology in 2002. Candlelight is giving it a domestic release for 2008. As for the music, simplistic drumming, simplistic minimalist guitar lines, screeched vocals, a bare-boned approach to song structure and music that creeps along at whatever pace was set for it early in the song. Somehow, despite the negatives associated with that description what emerges is an effective flowing narrative with, at the time of original release, a distinctive voice. After awhile you get to appreciate the I’m getting whipped with a wet noodle whines of anguish and the simple repetitive guitar lines are actually intoxicating. The synth passages are evocative of mood despite their simplistic nature.

Song selection is less than satisfying. I would do away with the ultra repetitive “Jesus Tod”, and listening to “Gebrechichkeit” is like subjecting yourself to water torture with an untuned radio in the background, cut it. I have nothing good to say about “Ansuzgardaraiwô” or “Bálferð Baldrs” cut them both. Instead I would add “Ea, Lord Of The Depths” and “My Journey to the Stars.” Of note, for confusion’s sake, I will point out that the track listing for the 2002 release of this disc is different, containing, in addition to some on this version, “Ea, Lord Of The Depths”, “War”, “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss”, “Í Heimr Heljar”, “Et Hvitt Lys Over Skogen”, and “Havamål.”

Should you buy this disc? Do you want to give him your money? There are other ways to acquire the music if so motivated. Personally I’d pass on Anthology in favor of tracking down the first three full lengths. Of the thousands of churches to choose from why the pre-christian Fantoft stave church? Burzum is a passing fancy. Her er eventyret ute.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
May 8th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    sounds like this has a crap tracklisting but there are a number of Burzum songs I still love. just listened to Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Filosofem this week, matter of fact. I even enjoy the long 30 minute track a lot now, it’s good background music for work.

    so what are the bands that you think are doing this better nowadays? ones that come to mind for me are Krohm, Walknut and Ruins of Beverast.


  2. Commented by: Dan Zidar

    [quote]it is safe to say you did not learn of him first through his music.[/quote]

    Am I that old? Because I certainly heard his music before any controversy happened.


  3. Commented by: Grimulfr

    It’s not an age thing, he burned the first church mid 92 and everything before 93 was self released basically Norway only.


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