Tuesday Teardown: Burzum – Fallen Feb 1, 2011


Burzum is shroud in great controversy. Varg’s past is his past and his future, release after release, is looking promising. With Belus landing in my Top Ten Metal Albums of 2010, I was ecstatic when Fallen was announced a few weeks ago. Surely after a successful return to recording, Varg was back to creating classic black metal. While I wouldn’t classify Burzum’s current work as modern black metal, it does embody the same ideologies as even the earliest albums by the Norwegian scene.

Check out the rest of my review below.

“Jeg Faller” from Fallen

Varg describes Fallen as “a cross between Belus and something new, inspired more by the début album and Det Som Engang Var than by Hvis Lyset Tar Oss or Filosofem.” While I might not agree whole-heartedly with this statement, I can see how his intent followed suit while recording Fallen.

Det Som Engang Var‘s sound lacks any sort of melody whatsoever. It’s harsh, cold and very primitive. My experience with Burzum’s work has led me to believe that Filosofem was the first time when Varg really started to compose music, making not only sounds, but environments; something I reference in a lot of atmospheric music. Filosofem is visceral, Det Som Engang Var is not. But that doesn’t mean that Varg didn’t intend for Fallen to be atmospheric and experimental. He states that:

“The sound is more dynamic – we mastered the album as if it was classical music – and I was more experimental than I was on Belus in all respects. Lyricwise it is similar to the début album, in the way that it is more personal and focuses on existential issues, but the mythological untertone known from Belus is still there. I have also included some ambient tracks – a short introduction and a longer conclusion.”

This undertone is more of an overtone if you ask me. Even the cover-art, entitled “Élégie” (Eng. “Elegy”), by William Adolphe Bouguereau, brings about a new form of imagery for Burzum. Gone are the black gates and the cloaked woodsmen. Here we have an emotionally-binding image: an image that speaks about the nature of Fallen as a journey through pain and suffering.

“Fra Verdenstreet” or “From the World Tree” is the first track on the album and it only serves as an intro. if you were missing the fast-paced blast beats in Belus, Fallen has plenty. The track above is entitled “Jeg Faller” or “I Am Falling”. It is deep with emotion and beautiful at moments. With whispers echoing over the tremolo-picking, Varg has created an album’s intent with one track. This is Fallen. It is the identity of the album and in many ways shows a progression from Belus.

The next cut is “Valen” or “Fallen” and as you can see, the imagery continues. More pain and anguish. At over nine-minutes long, it’s akin the classic Burzum formula. The pace is slower than “Jeg Faller” and it plays as an epic ballad. Each track on Fallen has a name that reflects its sound. “Vanvidd” or “Madness” is a spiraling descent into a frantic world. More blast beats and tremolo picking sculpt a world of insanity and at seven minutes in length, can be a bit arduous to endure.

In what is probably my favorite Burzum intro since “Jesus’ Tod” is “Enhver til Sitt” or “Each Man To His Own”. If there is any track on Fallen that sounds like Filosofem, it’s this. The sound is eerie and even picks up influences from Sabbath-era metal. Slow riffs and digestible drums overlaid with raspy vocals. Varg continues to tell his story through “Budstikken” or “The Message”, a percussion-laden track with heavy riffage and a two-kick in place of the blast beat. This is the lumbering juggernaut of Fallen, at over ten minutes in length, it just kind of disappears in the background.

The only instrumental cut on Fallen is “Til Hel Og Tilbake Igjen” or “To Hell And Back Again”. There’s no way to really describe it other than a maddening dream with a calloused ending. Overall, Fallen is a great album. Out of all of Varg’s work, it has masterpiece status. While many other metal acts fall out of touch with themselves and their audience, Varg is just showing that Burzum is building great momentum. With Belus‘ sheltered and confined sound acting as the catalyst for Fallen, one can only imagine what Burzum has in store for us next.

Review: Burzum – Belus

  • Alexander

    Dang this is awesome, Varg still has the perfected black metal sound. Awesome review! Definitely gonna pick this up when it’s out.

  • lets stay at fixed

    after several burzum postings on prollys it should be enough now!

    “it does embody the same ideologies as even the earliest albums by the Norwegian scene”
    burzums ideology is nazism.

    please reflect, questioning, research and read about the political view of burzum. its truly nazism, please stop overlooking this.

    even if its hard to find public proof in burzums outputs, like on all those indirect playings of common nazi bands:
    from the point where he starts playing with and provoked it. this should be enough to listen, support and post about his records. truly no need for this, we all no why!


  • http://theradavist.com prolly

    Burzum is in no way NSBM…

  • lets stay at fixed

    sure? check this:


    its really obvious, internet is full of it. there even exists discussions about this topic, give it a chance and search around a little bit, just some google work: – you cant deny that.

  • Dr.

    why is it that each time vikerness is mentioned on this blog some whiny asshole starts to complain about his past. listen to his music, not what he believes in you weak minded cunt.

  • frosted

    This album is a leak but is worth the wait. Download then buy when it is for sale. Support PNBM and the originator of BLACK METAL ASSHOLES!

  • JasonSLC

    “listen to his music not what he believes in you weak minded cunt” ha ha ha.

    The dude distanced himself from black metal after the first four records because he was disappointed by the perception they were satanic as opposed to radically National Socialist and pagan in ideology, this is by Varg’s own admission and is easily verifiable like lets stay at fixed already posited . If you want to rock NSBM at least have the backbone to be honest about it. You cannot separate the message from the medium, you can however enjoy the medium and ignore the message if you choose. That’s not something I’m personally comfortable with but knock yourself out. Also, its been my experience that the Burzum apologists took up Black Metal on this recent second wave, people who were around for the first wave tend to not deny the NSBM link since it was fairly well understood and in fact contributed the “mystique” the “Count” himself was obviously proud of.

  • http://theradavist.com prolly

    When you call Burzum NSBM, you imply the music reaks of it. It doesn’t. When you call Varg a facist, I understand but Burzum, as music, is not NSBM especially when compared to bands whose lyrics are completely facist and anti-semitic.

    Varg may be a “count” but Burzum is not a facist band.

  • lets stay fixed

    @ Dr.
    “why is it that each time vikerness is mentioned on this blog some whiny asshole starts to complain about his past. listen to his music, not what he believes in you weak minded cunt.”

    nice one, sexism is back on the table again – hand in hand with the finest culture in discussion, I think you made ur point!

    in this case, me: the whiny asshole – cares about nonsense in this context:

    ever read that?

    here he says he is no nazi – but he acts like a nazi, he parts humanity into races of bloodlines – the race is artificial concept of the 18th century and he repeats his thumbs up for antisemitism – he just trivialize the world most ever cruel deed done by humans to other humans: nazi crimes: shoah how can you call this “ghost”??????????????????????

  • JasonSLC

    I guess that raises an entirely different question, how much of a mark does the character of the maker impart to their subject and how important is that? In this case, and I understand this is over simplifying things, Varg is an admitted racist and murderer. Lets not forget, he killed someone over album demos. It seems like he’s excused from his reprehensible character because the level of entertainment he provides is so great or (trve or kvlt). And when you purchase his music you are at least in part, excusing his actions. I just think it sends a terrible message which in essence is, as consumers we’re willing to overlook socially destructive behavior as long as at least one thing you do gives us pleasure in some capacity. I have to believe its more productive to give attention and support to individuals and the work of individuals that embody higher standards. But of course high standards and integrity aren’t nearly as fashionable as being ‘metal-as-fuck’ seems to be.

  • streettrash

    I distinctly remember reading a post on burzum.org about three years ago where Varg stated that he no longer wished to be known as a satanist, but strictly as a neo nazi.

  • http://thomskuld.com Thom Skuld

    I think where you slipped up John is when you all but ignored the man’s history and persona in your review. When it comes to Burzum, even though we’re not dealing with highly commercial music, you have to treat it like a Hollywood movie rather than a foreign or indie flick- you have to spell out the plot of your story in the dialogue rather than rely on your reader’s intelligence to get what you didn’t say. It’s an unfortunate prerequisite to talking about this band, but if you don’t lay it on the line and say you don’t care about the man’s views, you just care about the music, people will dog-pile on you.

    And come on people, this isn’t Arghoslent or something. There’s much worse stuff out there with a very transparent message of real hate. A more interesting conversation is whether or not this music is the sound of a man gone crazy after being in jail. I’m not a Dauði Baldrs fan, but at least it sounds crazy. I liked Belus, but after hearing Fallen a couple of times, I can’t be sure if he’s really delivering something so radically new or just riding a wave of hype to success.

  • John H.

    Im not Jewish, and i really can’t take contribute to this argument much, but i really like Bursum’s music and always have since i started listening to them. If you don’t like the morals of the band and boycott them for that reason, that is your choice. Nobody is forcing you to listen to them. So don’t be one of those “whiny-ass” people that complain to Prolly about how somebody you’ve never even met or probably seen in person, hurts your feelings because you don’t like their morals or background. As for me, I dont really care if he’s a nazi, or a murderer. It doesn’t affect me. I just listen to the music.

  • Marcus

    Can´t everybody stop talking about him being nazist if you dont like burzum dont listen to his music and stop whineing so WHAT THE FUCK IS THE PROBLEM !!!

  • lets stay fixed

    @ john h.
    So don’t be one of those “whiny-ass” people that complain to Prolly about how somebody you’ve never even met or probably seen in person, hurts your feelings because you don’t like their morals or background.

    “Prolly” makes through this place a Burzum review public, so in logic way of the democracy you live in, it should be allowed to make critic on that without beeing the stigmatized “whiny-ass”? its just a stupid stereotype you reproduce yourself in avoiding beeing it.

    And besides that there is no point in knowing “Prolly” in personal that or hurting my feelings to affect this discussion – a.k.a. objective!!!. Again Prolly makes a review of Burzum available for the public, so he has to be able to accept critic about it.

    “As for me, I dont really care if he’s a nazi, or a murderer. It doesn’t affect me. I just listen to the music.”

    nice way pulling out of every responsibility/moral which has ever been possible – exactly this is one of the main social mechanism which made the nazis successful by the way.

    @ thom skuld

    “There’s much worse stuff out there with a very transparent message of real hate.”

    sure there is, but is a vanishing moral border to it – the right way of playing this topic low?

  • GoodCleanHate

    It’s not so hard to find proof of the fact that Vikernes is far from renouncing nazist ideology. In “A Burzum Story: Part VII – The Nazi Ghost” he just develops what he finds and just rejects some parts of the ideology, which seems to be uncomfortable with:

    “What makes me different from the “nazis” are basically three things; unlike them I am not socialistic (not even on a national level), I am not materialistic and I believe in (the ancient Scandinavian!) democracy.”

    No single word about not agreeing on the antisemitic ideology or condemning their holocaust machinery. That seems nothing he has a bigger problem with. The text is (still) to be found on his official website, even though he stopped publishing there, so I am sure Vikernes still stands behind it.


    In the 90ies there has been an interview with him in C.O.T.I.M. zine #4. On the question:


    he stated:

    “Europe is cursed by the rotten, rip-off, capitalist Jew-culture, a culture based on $ (plague and torment), miscengenation and Jewish world-supremacy. So it is a culture but one hell of a shitty one, and as anti-Germanic a culture can possibly be. And worst of all, Europe itself fail to see the true face of this culture, as it hide behind lies as the Holocaust lie, the lie about the reason of the worldwars (where Germany got all the blame) and the lies about National Socialism being “bad” and so on…”

    The whole interview still live on the former official website:


    So, I suggest to do a little more reading, it’s all easily to be found, just pick his writings off the ground like rotten fruit.
    If those of you denying him being a Nazi (or if you like that better: Neo-Nazi) are able to READ, not just to put the characters together, you will see, that he just grew streetwise in putting the subtext between his words. He still is what he has ever been, just expressing the same things more moderately.

    @Marcus and dr.: If you have nothing to say, don’t join the discussion, fuckheads!

  • nsbmsucks

    Burzum can not be tolerated. I like Metal, but no BM, but that isn’t the Problem.
    Varg is a Murderer, a Nazi and can’t be hated enough.
    “Only liking the music” is like, saying “Jews an inferior Race” while wearing a SS uniform, only because “one likes uniforms, especially from Germany”. If you listen to music, you usually agree with its meaning, or it least its meaning isn’t political an thus isn’t really important.
    Meaning in this case isn’t only the lyrics, but the opinions of the musicians as well.

    I listen to all kinds of music, but nazishit can not be tolerated.

  • Emile Otto

    In Varg´s book “Vargsmal” he compares looking into the eyes of a brown eyed woman is like looking up someone´s ass, and that the reason why more brown eyed people are racist than blue eyed, is because they can feel miscegenation already inside themselves. Varg has been very openly Nazi, and even took the name of Norway´s most famous nazi from WWII “Quisling”, when he discovered they where related. I find it quite offensive his records are being promoted here, but hey it´s your blog not mine.

  • Steve

    @Emile Otto
    How about you stop telling people what should be on their blog, what we should be reading and listening to……you f*cking Nazi piece of sh*t.

    I’ll listen to whatever the f*ck I want to listen to, I’m not a Nazi and could give a f*ck less what Varg dabbled in in prison, if you listened to them you’d know these recent albums have no Nazi undertone to them all. You mindless dolt.

    Please, light yourself on fire and go give your whole family a hug for me will you, Thanks.

    Sorry Prolly, that wasn’t very polite, but needed to be said.

  • GoodCleanHate

    @Steve: Haha! You just made my day. :-) Idiot.
    – “Sorry, Prolly, that wasn’t very polite…” – Hahaha! And those tiny asterisks, showing the world that the only one who is really telling you what to do, is yourself.
    Just go on swearing while giving yourself the creeps about it. Reading your bullshit is like watching my dog biting his own tail. It’s not very clever, but it’s kinda sweet!

    We could go on like this, you know: I’d tell you to stop telling us to stop telling someone else what to do or not to do. You have no right yourself, whatsoever, you stupid fuck!

    Here is my advice: Stop telling people, what should NOT be on their blog. Do you think, Prolly would wave through all these commentarys, if he wouldn’t enjoy the discussion? Do you think he needs a Sideshow Bob like you to tell others to shut the fuck up? Steve, the man’s best friend? Haha! If he wouldn’t like to have all that disco beneath his review, he would not activate all that lousy commentary – yours, mine – by hand, don’t you think?

    So, Steve. Down!

  • M.

    lets stay fixed,

    The average self-righteous idiot who complains about racialist and nationalist musicians will listen to music made by sexist/misogynist assholes with not so much as a thought given to their hypocritical and lazy thinking. My advise: it’s music. If it’s good music then buy it and enjoy it irrespective of the creator’s politics. To stop listening to music as sublime as that of Wagner simply because he hated Jews is ridiculous. You mention sexism which suggests you oppose this form of hatred as much as racism and I suspect you mentioned it because someone used the C word but if you’re male and if you view pornography then you’re seriously in denial about your own internalised sexism.