Review: Burzum – Belus Feb 22, 2010

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If you can overlook Varg’s psychotic history and appreciate Burzum for what it is, a great atmospheric black metal band, then you’ll enjoy this album. Burzum has always been one of those iconic black metal acts. Like Mayhem and Darkthrone, Burzum’s a beginner’s introduction to the Norwegian genre of black metal. The band has always been surrounded by a shroud of darkness. From church burnings to the death of Euronymous, Varg has always attracted the wrong kind of attention. After he was convicted of murder and arson, he went to jail, where he worked on solo projects; It was just Varg and a keyboard in jail.

Before this time, he recorded multiple albums, including Filosofem in 1993, prior to his imprisonment in 1994. In all honesty, I wasn’t ever really into anything post-Filosofem. After that album, Varg got a little too abstract for me. I couldn’t connect with the music and it lacked the intensity that Jesus’ Tod brought to the black metal scene.

After prison time and an 11-year hiatus, Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes is back at it. Here’s where I put a disclaimer out there; I am in no way advocating Varg’s antisemitism. There was a huge upset over the title for his new album, Belus, which can be translated roughly to “The White God”. Knowing his background, some might say it was intentional, but Varg has stated that Belus is the “name of the ancient European solar deity of light and innocence”. He goes on to clarify the following:

“The new title of the album is, as You might have guessed from the title of this article, “Belus”, the so-called Indo-European name for Baldur/the White God. I could have used any European name for this deity, but I chose this one because it is the oldest known name and because it is pan-European.”

What Belus does for Burzum might be called a revival for Varg’s credibility as a musician. The album is easily the best album Vikernes has ever produced. All 50 minutes are laced with intensity and there’s never a dull moment. Recorded entirely in Norwegian, Belus begins to embody the essence of Norwegian black metal. Regardless to Varg’s claim that the album transcends all genres, the similarities between Belus and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss are striking. Belus calls for a Norwegian Renaissance; dump the stage antics, wipe off the corpse paint and the extinguish the flames. Belus, through bringing light, intensifies the darkness. Varg has painted a new future for Burzum, one that exists through contrast. Like the album art implies, Burzum will live in the darkness but Belus brings a new light to the band.

As the final moments in Belus’ Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon) fades out, we’re reminded of the man before the mischief; Varg has done it again. Long live Norwegian metal!

  • SandCrab

    Thank for writing this up man, I’ve been trying to get into more metal lately. As you put it, “Burzum’s a beginner’s introduction to the Norwegian genre of black metal”, which perfectly describes me. I land way more tricks when I’m listening to metal/rock; I’ve gotten 5 tricks for the first time while listening to the blue record! Hopefully, you don’t get too much flak for this, not like you’re supporting his actions/beliefs. That’d be like saying anyone who listens to the Who supports pedophiles.

  • I’m so glad this leaked. I couldn’t wait any longer!

  • D

    I somehow missed that he finally released this, and wow. Can’t even put into words how psyched I am on the album. Thanks for posting it man.

  • werecourier

    ???

    Maybe Varg Vikernes is a “great” musician, as I said before: maybe!

    What he definetely is, is a sick, weak-minded fascist:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varg_Vikernes

    So, you could even write about Nokturnal Mortum – maybe they are “great” musicians too?

    But when you’re really an open-minded person you won’t pay a f*cking Cent for this kind of cr*p!!!

  • John

    I wouldn’t say Vikernes is weak minded. A strong willed, charismatic, intelligent showman with silly beliefs would be more accurate.

  • h

    It’s ridiculous to judge somebody’s musical ability based on their personal beliefs and actions. And perhaps if we read Vikernes’ writings more closely (or at all, for all those gossip involved pieces of shit who only believe what is told to them) then maybe you will realise that he’s really not all that fascist or nazi, or no more so than you are. It’s not like nationalism isn’t rampant throughout the rest of the world. People hate only whom they wish to hate; or who they are told to hate. But in something of more relevance, regardless of Vikernes’ personal beliefs, this is indeed Burzum’s best work to date. Long live Varg Vikernes, and Burzum!

    (Oh and P.S. – Nokturnal Mortum are better musicians than you could ever wish to be, werecourier)

  • Ragnarokum Lyset

    Today is the Belus relase…

    It’s a great album.

    Varg rules.

  • m.

    werecourier,

    do you have the same opinion of being open minded and paying your hard earned money for music made by misogynists because quite fucking frankly misogynist fuckheads in the metal scene are worse than nationalists or racialists.

    people who whinge and whinge about vikernes because of his politics and then enjoy music by misogynists are hypocrites are complete fucking idiots.

  • Menneskefiendsk

    I was pleasantly surprised by this album. After such a long hiatus, and with the direction the previous albums were going, my ears were delighted with Varg’s return to his roots.

    I also love the one review by the idiot (werecourier, I believe it was) who linked Wikipedia for everything there is to know about Burzum and Varg. What a great place to get your information from. Dumbass.

  • moloko

    It’s a great album, putting aside Vargs ideological position…
    I still believe that Filosofem is the quintessense of the black metal idea and above, and Belus clearly follows this direction.

    Btw, we should accuse every second rap album of advocating the outlaw activity then…

  • Menneskefiendsk

    I was pleasantly surprised by this album. After such a long hiatus, and with the direction the previous albums were going, my ears were delighted with Varg’s return to his roots.

    I also love the one review by the idiot (werecourier, I believe it was) who linked Wikipedia for everything there is to know about Burzum and Varg. What a great place to get your information from. Dumbass.

  • lucerne dusk

    @ werecourier. you have to be joking us, dude. so true open-minded people dismiss art according to unrelated issues? that statement is an oxymoron. a true open minded person will take a song for what it is; A SONG. if i had to agree with a musician to appreciate his/her music, i wouldn’t listen to easy-e, varg, david allen coe, most rastafarian reggae, fear (or any other retarded but awesome punk band), any dumbass dubstep “gangsta”, nyhc bands that are on a high horse etc, etc, etc. shit i even like some “christian music” songs. come to think of it, varg’s name is actually kristian; so maybe this is “kristian music”. shut up and enjoy it

  • The Man

    werecourier, your mother is a whore. don’t bother with Burzum, you are too stupid to understand. the album is great, feels and sounds right. i’m glad he is back.

  • Stu

    This is definitly Burzum. No one else writes like Varg.
    I still wonder if he regrets killing a band member. I till believe Euronymous was pretty dumb that day, too answer the door not dressed. It was all about money and power. 11 years in solitude, anyways Varg is back, and hopefully he will stay out of prison.

  • Varg Vikernes may be a fascist, but this album is really very good. That’s all it matters for me. And remember that he did his time in prison.

  • Dr. Robert P. Watson

    This album is fantastic. If I ever heard any nigger listening to this, I would personally beat the living, fucking shit out of him. Niggers just do not deserve access to this level of profundity.

  • Hey ‘Dr.’ Wilson. Guess what? I’m a fucking ‘n1gger’ and I listen to black metal.
    I heard there was this shit called black metal and I was like ‘sweet, metal made by brothas’.

    So I started to listen to it. I did it at first just to piss off my parents, but it really took a hold of me and now I love the shit.

    Fuck you racist asshole!
    I know Varg is a nationalist or whatever but I like his music.
    You however are just a bitch.

    BLACK METAL 4 LIFE!

  • FTW!

  • ——————————————–
    ???

    Maybe Varg Vikernes is a “great” musician, as I said before: maybe!

    What he definetely is, is a sick, weak-minded fascist:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varg_Vikernes

    So, you could even write about Nokturnal Mortum – maybe they are “great” musicians too?

    But when you’re really an open-minded person you won’t pay a f*cking Cent for this kind of cr*p!!!
    ————————————————–

    this guy right here ^^^^ should be shot, Varg killed Eurnymous in defence and retaliation because Euronymous was planning to kill him off first. His music is the greatests thing ever, nothing compares, he was the first treu norwegian black metalist to create a band all by himself, he did vox, drums, guitar etc. You my “weak minded” mainstream music listener are just like very other infant that listens to what the government wants you to listen to, whats played on gay music shows, gay radio stations, with fake computer generated sounds. get lost right now

  • test

    go and watch “until the light takes us” (Hvis Lyset Tar Oss)
    the album is brilliant!

    useLess

  • Shark

    All you “metal heads” who split hairs criticizing Varg’s beliefs need to GROW A PAIR. Everytime I go to a show and see all the little boys and girls dressed in black with their spikes and face paint, but spouting dyed-in-the-wool LIBERAL rhetoric, it makes me want to projectile vomit. The “like” the music…but do they understand where it comes from and what it means? NO!

  • I love this album! Great review!