Saturday, March 6, 2010

Burzum - Belus

Burzum, the pseudonym of one Varg Vikernes, one of metal’s most notorious figures has become the butt of many jokes in 2010. Released last year for the murder of fellow black metaller Euronymous in 1994, Varg spent much of the latter half of last year posting updates online of his current state of mind, which led to said jokes, but also on the process of a new Burzum record.

There are a few questions that arise high, high above. Does anyone still care about Varg Vikernes? Should anyone care? The truth is that there are plenty of people that have forgotten about Count Grishnackh and others that find him, his beliefs and antics repulsive. For that reason, Belus will mean absolutely nothing to them. But while the vast majority of metal fans think very little of Varg’s crimes and for the most part infantile statements, there’ll always be an air of interest around him. After all, with the bullshit aside, this is the same man that delivered Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.

Since his release from prison, Varg spent much time berating this generation’s black metal bands, relating to childish homophobic insults. Plus, he went on further to deny Belus having any affiliation with black metal. But the truth is that Belus is a black metal record and a good one at that. But just good, it’s average, a far cry from anything worth marking out over or even recommending to a mate.

But it rises to strong moments. 'Belus' Død' properly instigates proceedings with a typically muffled production and Varg entering with his unchanged shriek over sharp, grinding riffs.

Meanwhile, 'Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning' has some strange spoken word passages between the chaotic vocals which lead into a riff that almost be considered a (whisper it) hook. Similarly, 'Keliohesten' thunders through more of those barbaric, razor edged riffs.

But on the flip side there’s the eleven minutes of hauntingly brooding atmospherics in 'Glemselens Elv'. Then, in a similar vein the harsh distorted moods of 'Belus' Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon)', an insidious instrumental, brings things to a close.

Belus, most certainly, deserves your attention but perhaps not for long. It’s enjoyable in small doses. But as far as black metal in the 21st century is concerned there is much, much better out there. No, really. There is.


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