By Tyler Crooks
Release Date: March 8th, 2010
Record Label: Byelobog Productions
My rating points:
Forget everything you think you know about Burzum right now. Forget the story of Euronymous and Varg. Open your mind to the epic glory that is "Belus".
The latest release from the pioneering one-man black metal band Burzum is nothing short of amazing. In the 15 years that Varg Vikernes has been behind bars, he has not lost a bit of talent or brutality. Now, you may think that black metal has to fit a certain stereotype. Fast, angry and loud. With Belus, this is not entirely the case.
Burzum has always had a very specific sound, and Belus is no exception. Droning guitars with evil melodies, pounding drums, and very little bass, topped off by the evil, soul crushing vocal talent of Varg Vikernes makes for one hell of a black metal album.
The sound of Belus itself is very reminiscent of Burzum's 1996 release, "Filosofem". The guitars on this album are very static sounding, with a lot of melody. The drums are synced perfectly to the sound, creating a very dark ambiance. Varg's guttural growling and low shrieks perfect it beautifully. The only thing that makes this album stand out from all other Burzum releases is that it has far more musical structure than anything Burzum has released in the past. It follows a wonderful musical formula, with the perfect balance of droning evil, and fast paced blackened thrash(term used VERY lightly) overtones.
The track "Belus' Dode" is really one of the crowning tracks on Belus. It keeps true to the original Burzum sound with heavily distorted drone guitars and simple, yet brutal drum patterns. The overall sound of the song is very reminiscent of "Jesus' Tod" off of Filosofem. It has a deep ambiance of both hatred and anger, while maintaining it's droning sound topped with Varg's haunting vocals. Simply put, it's an absolutely wonderful track.
Another great track off of Belus is "Sverddans". This song really breaks the Burzum formulary in a great way.
The song starts out with a short but fast paced build-up to what I can only describe as "Extreme Burzum". The drums are fast, the riff is solid and Varg's lyrics are almost poetic in the way he delivers them. This song also contains a great solo, although a bit repetitive, it fit's the song beautifully. A great track for those angry days.
The content of the album is an exploration of the European solar deity, Belus. It explores the myths and roots of this god of light, and of Norway's cultural heritage. As usual, the lyrics are all Norwegian.
Given Varg Vikernes' track record, this will not be the last album that we will see out of Burzum. This is only the beginning of a whole new chapter in the history of black metal, and we are all lucky to see it happen before us.
This album is definitely not one to miss. For any black metal fan, new or old, it's the comeback of one of the most feared and notorious black metal musicians to ever emerge from the dark and bloody world of the Norwegian metal scene.
I give this album 8 stars and two thumbs up. This is THE best Burzum release to date.To buy the CD and for more information, check out their official website www.burzum.org
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