Burzum - Anthology
Ah, the best of Varg Vikernes all in one place. Of course, in prison, he is all in one place as well.
This is not to be confused with the 2002 bootleg of the same name. This is the first official attempt to assemble representative tracks from his career pre- 21 year sentence for murder. This legendary band/man/idol/cautionary tale is one of the cornerstones of black metal lore, and Norwegian black metal myth in particular. From the land which produced bands and fans that took the imagery and lyrics of drunken, lookin' for a gimmick English metal masters Venom waaaay too seriously, (to the point of burning down churches, killing each other, killing themselves), Burzum stands above all-on stage, on record, in the penal system, in psychological case studies. But we are here to talk about the music, and in ten years of recording, Vikernes provided as much to talk about as his messiah-complex actions.
"Anthology" features a sampling from all six official Burzum releases. Many of what are now standard black metal riffs and production choices stem from tracks like "Feeble Screams From Forests Unknown," with its other-worldy howl and monolithic drone.
Likewise, "Lost Wisdom" and "Jesus Tod" create a morbid, chilling vibe; the language barrier is no stumbling block to getting the menacing point of these haunted songs. Brutal riffs and berserk vocals also send "Det Som en Gang Var" and "Balferd Baldrs" over the edge. The disc also comes with a bonus video for "Dunkelheit."
Like Manson, it is hard to separate the music of Burzum from Varg's crimes. Yet even without the witchy backstory, "Anthology" is an essential set of tracks that are legendary and influential in more ways than one.
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on 2008-04-28 SolitaryMan Said:
Burzum is quite the fascinating story. Varg had a bright future before getting too wrapped up in the underworld elements of Norwegian BM, or just wrapped up in his own insanity; dissecting the man is almost as interesting as dissecting his music. From the early demos to the monstrous weight and scope of "Filosofem" and even up to the post-incarceration ambient recordings, Varg and his "Burzum" project have never failed to intrigue and entertain. He's a very good storyteller and mood-setter, but I wouldn't dare call him a good musician. Able guitarist and bassist, could have become a decent drummer from the sound of certain songs he played on. I think this makes him all the more fun to hear, it embodies some of that thick-headed punk attitude just in the rawness of some of his albums. It's worth it, to any fan of metal or especially black, more especially atmospheric black, to check out any Burzum release, and this would probably be the best place to start for a near-total overview of his work.