Burzum - Belus (Byelobog Productions/Plastic Head)

The Return of Varg Vikernes. Love him or hate him, it was bound to happen.
Release Date: 
7 Mar 2010 (All day)

 

Well, it is finally here, the return of everyone's favorite black metal musician - that you either love or hate. when Varg Vikernes was released last year, everyone was wondering when he would work on a new recording. Well, Varg surprised the metal community by saying in an interview that he had recorded eight new songs for a release of early 2010.

 

Burzum's Belus itself explores the anicent myths concering Belus, his death (the second track), his jouney through the underworld and his return. It's kind of difficult to make out what exactly is being foretold, as the lyrics are in Norwegian and I am yet to find english translations. Prior to the release of the album, Vikernes stated that it would not be a rehash of previously released materials; even though it has that same sound, you can feel the changes in the music as Vikernes, for one, has matured since his last offering.

 

The sound is the primitive sound that was around when he was put in prison, even though the sound of black metal has evolved since then. But, Varg refuses to conform and sticks with the same style of music that was once called the first wave of black metal; he has expressed displeasure with the modern state of the culture he somewhat helped create.

 

The main stand out tracks to me are the second track Belus Død (Belus Dead) and Belus Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon) [Belus Return (Conclusion)] , after a 30 second introduction track that translates to "Leuke's Scheme": a guitar riff that has a depressive feel to it, which could picture a scene of Belus' being betrayed and passing away (hence the name of the track), a drum beat in the background and then a voice from out of the dark past and the long awaited return is complete . Instrument-wise, they guitar sound compared to most newer black metal albums is primitive, drums are very basic, bass is somewhat audible and the vocals are still as good as they were all those years ago. The last track is an instrumental track.

 

People claimed that Burzum brought forward the Depressive Black Metal genre; it was until i heard the last track that i took back my claims. It is truly a depressive track and a really great outtro track for the album. 

 

To be honest, despite some people may not admit it as most people want Vikernes dead, but i think that the Norwegian black metal scene has missed someone like him. I know it won't go back to the days of old, where it featured primitive recordings. In the digital age that we are in, the overall sound of black metal is evolving, yet Varg is showing that the old style is not dead and buried and Belus is a prime example of this. Hopefully Varg's latest stabbing means he will be around for a long time.

Burzum's Belus is out on 7 March on Plastic Head.