Speak the name Burzum and you are hit with many alternate views of the band. First and foremost Burzum is shrouded in a great controversy due to Varg Vikernes’ past. This review will concentrate moreso on Burzum’s future than Vikernes’ past. While I would never condone the actions of the man himself, I do believe in second chances to people that deserve it. Now, to focus on the music.
2010’s Belus was an inspirational release to say the least. It showed that Black Metal is still well and alive and that some people just understand the meanings of Black Metal and can still do it properly. Very few bands out there are doing actual classic Black Metal the way that it is meant to be done. After this successful return to recording, classic Black Metal was back. Belus embodied some the same ideologies as even the earliest albums by the Norwegian scene.
As far as individual tracks go, the first track, “Fra Verdenstreet” (Eng. “From the World Tree”) is just an album introduction that sets the tone for the album. The second track “Jeg Faller” (Eng. “I Am Falling”) has so many beautiful moments and is nearly 8 minutes of some really intense sounds and melodies. “Valen” (Eng. “Fallen”) is another classic Burzum track with more speed introduced.
As you would expect, this album is all about the atmosphere and few people can create that Black Metal atmosphere like Varg can. The track Budstikken is a prime example of an amazing atmosphere. You just get lost within that track.
I am also a big fan of the track “Til Hel og tilbake igjen” (Eng. “To Hell And Back Again”). This track is tough to describe, but sets a wonderful climax to the album with some very nice sounds thrown in. This is the only instrumental of the album.
By Varg’s own words he said that Fallen is “a cross between Belus and something new, inspired more by the debut album and Det Som Engang Var than by Hvis Lyset Tar Oss or Filosofem.”
I would agree that Fallen is a cross between Fallen and Filosofem with some new elements mixed in, but releases like Det Som Engang Var and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, to me, were completely different types of recordings.
The cover-art is something that I would call a completely new type of imagery for Burzum. The piece, entitled “Ã‰lÃ©gie” (Eng. “Elegy”), by William Adolphe Bouguereau, is a much more emotional image than the previous albums covers filled with many more dark hues.