Burzum the one man band formed by Varg Vikernes AKA Count Grishnack in 1990. Burzum creates a different atmosphere than most of the black metal bands in the sense that the songs are somehow ambient which create an overwhelming atmosphere and put the listener in a state of dormancy. I’m not going to discuss Varg’s church burnings or his personality. I am just going to review Burzum’s, in my opinion, best album: Filosofem.
This is one of the best atmospheric black metal albums ever. From the first track to the last track the listener will feel that he is put in an eternal sleep that he cannot wake from. On this album Varg took a different course than his previous albums in the sense that this album is more ambient than the former albums.
Dunkelheit (German for Darkness): This is the first song on the album and it is an amazing track. Dunkelheit means Burzum and Burzum means Darkness. So this song really revolves around the main theme of Burzum. The song starts out with a guitar followed by drums. From the begging of the song you can feel the grand atmosphere of Burzum’s music. After some minutes the keyboards enter the song. The keyboards on this one are very simple yet very magical. The keyboards are there to make the listener dose off and make him/her travel to a time where trolls dwell the forests and where magic exists. The lyrics are also amazing; they hold a lot of symbolism and dark/Norse philosophy in them. This song is pure genius. Although the song seems simple the atmosphere it creates is very overwhelming that it seems impossible for one person to actually manage to do it.
Jesus’ Tod: This is the second track on the album and this track is also extremely amazing. It sends a lot of dark vibes. This song is very mystical. The drums on this song are really amazing and the guitar’s sound in the background is very hypnotizing. Suddenly Varg enters the amazing music with his high pitched voice. Everything on this song is very well put. For approximately 9 minutes the listener will dive into his/her unconscious and feel as if he/she is swimming in a void. There are no words to describe the mood this song sets.
Erblicket die Töchter des Firmaments (Beholding the Daughters of the Firmamen): This is the third track on this album and in my opinion it is more than perfect. This song really show’s Varg’s nostalgia, it really shows how much he is suffering and how he wishes the old times will come back. What is amazing about Burzum is that you can actually feel what Varg is feeling. You think that you know how it felt to live in the past when Viking used to dwell the North lands. This song is also like a release, just put it and sing a long and you will find yourself wanting to scream your lungs out. The atmosphere on this song is so fucking grandiose to a point where your body will just feel numb when you have it on.
Gebrechlichkeit I: This is the fourth track on this album. This song is very depressing. I hope you can see the chain that Varg creates. He started out with a very atmospheric song then he continued with a hypnotic song then with a nostalgic one and now this song is depressive. You can feel the pain in his voice. It is like he wants to reach for something but he can’t. They keyboards on this song make you feel as if you are being eaten up by the night. The lyrics are amazing on this track they are very morbid.
Rundgang um die transzendentale Säule der Singularität(Tour Around the Transcendental Pillar of Singularity): This is a 25 minute song. It is not actually a song it is just music. It conveys a lot of weird feelings. From its name it puts the listener into a trance. It makes you become so abstract. You start seeing shapes and seeing things that don’t exist but they seem they do. This song is like a magic spell and Varg is the wizard casting the spell. The music is very melancholic it plays on one’s emotions and it makes him transcend from any emotional state to a purely mental state. Perfection at its best.
Gebrechlichkeit II: This track is similar to Gebrechlichkeit I but it is only instrumental and more atmospheric and as the former track this song is also amazing.
Last but not least. Burzum’s songs aren’t like any songs you here. They require a clear conscience and some analyzing. If you get the message Varg is trying to convey you will be understand his music and understand what Burzum is all about and realize that what the media is trying to tell you about Varg is all bullshit.