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Burzum - The Ways of Yore


Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 03, 2014, 10:41:43 PM
It's nice to finally hear Tomhet recorded on something other than a Casio.  It's probably the only song he's actually made better by redoing it.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 04, 2014, 12:29:14 AM
Not loving this, unfortunately. I think Varg is lost in a world of his own creation.

Observe this embarrassment of an essay I stumbled across on his website while researching the new album:

Quote
If we are to believe the evolution religion (alias "science") each species and each race adapts to its environment over time. According to this religion the blackest Negro tribe moving into Europe will after some time turn white, change their nose shapes, grow a larger skull, grow a nose bone, grow larger pelvis bones, grow shorter lower arms, change the shape of their skulls, get thinner skin, get a little bump in the back of their heads (known in France as "the Math bump", because those who have it [i.e. fair Europeans...] are often very good with mathematics), change the angle of their forehead, change the length of their legs, change their metabolism, grow a larger brain, grow blue or gray eyes, lose their curly hair in favour of straight hair, grow blonde hair, and so forth, and they will also all of a sudden see a need for art, civilization, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, religion and so forth...

...sorry, but I have to stop. This is too bloody ridiculous. Yet, this is what most of us are taught to believe in. This is what most of us believe in today! Some even claim this happened in less than 12,000 years! In popular films about this subject (like the ludicrous "Ao") this even happened the moment the Negroes sat foot in Europe. Like *bang*! The Negro has become European in one generation! Very "scientific"...

Basically 'Europeans' are Neanderthals, but with a few Homo Sapiens (What Varg calls "African"!) genes.

Varg then goes on to champion the scientific(!!) research that his wife apparently does into all this.

Quote
Now, you might ask why the facts my wife presents to us are not all over the media, because this is after all a huge scientific breakthrough regarding the origin of the European man! It changes everything. We are not even of the same species as the other human races!

http://www.burzum.com/eng/library/the_lords_of_lies13.shtml

To me, there is a different between stimulating the imagination and creating a world for yourself.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 04, 2014, 01:18:49 AM
The structural variations certainly make this album more dynamic and enduring than the previous one. There is better use of themes and the interconnection of themes as well as having further developed the idiosyncratic synth/instrument voicings that were put to great use on earlier works. Some of the vocals probably could have been done better but I think it evens out pretty well on the whole. The reworked version of 'Tomhet' was definitely a highlight for me though I couldn't fault the original (also, not that it has much to do with anything but I doubt if it was originally made on a Casio).

As for philosophy/ideology, well I think it goes without saying that music generates its own abstract form of this and that any exterior beliefs injected into it only create confusion and incoherency. It's annoying but at the same time I'm not gonna boycott good music because the artists beliefs don't gel with my own. But I probably also just don't give a damn anymore (not saying that's what you were saying though).

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 04, 2014, 02:51:07 AM
Offended Hessians...........hahahahaha

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 04, 2014, 02:14:33 PM
The faux medieval pieces are in poor taste. Nostalgia for a people and a time you were never part of is not a healthy attribute. I am delighted that the album drops them for most of the run time. However, it is not very compelling or inspiring on the whole. Varg is indeed lost in a world of his own creation....

I might contrast this to DCD since the comparisons are obligatory. DCD unified the lineage of Western musical traditions. To parse a famous quote: DCD is the living music of the dead, (New) Burzum (Lord Wind et. al.) is the dead music of the living.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 04, 2014, 07:41:08 PM
Nostalgia may be an unhealthy attribute, however, seeing oneself as part of a continuous lineage over time as opposed to an isolated atom with no connections to the past, is pretty healthy. I cant help but suspect that alot of the anti Varg/Burzum sentiment has more to do with ideology than anything else. How is the work of Varg different from the work of Tolkien? Surely one could make the same argument against Tolkien, to wit, that he was lost in a world of his own creation. Beyond the pseudo intellectual rhetoric, can anyone provide a musical analysis of the flaws on this album? Consider it a friendly challenge...:)

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 04, 2014, 08:39:52 PM
In the Lord of the Rings, tolkien tells a modern tale, one relevant to the day and age that made him. He outlines a choice he hoped his generation would make. It's easy to miss if you get caught on the symbolic language of the past used to tell it. I suspect that Tolkien's story would have been better understood in his day, than ours.

I don't really care about Varg's blog or his beliefs. They are very, very amusing. His post prison work is the musical equivalent of digging up corpses.

Strictly as music:

Abridged version - Fuckin' boring.


Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 05, 2014, 12:14:14 AM
I think what you meant to say was that Tolkien told a timeless tale. If you really believe what you said about Tolkien I would suggest that your read his letters and the works of Shippey. Nothing about Tolkien is modern! :)
Regarding  the Burzum, I appreciate your candor, but I respectfully disagree with you.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 05, 2014, 01:12:47 AM
I think what you meant to say was that Tolkien told a timeless tale. If you really believe what you said about Tolkien I would suggest that your read his letters and the works of Shippey. Nothing about Tolkien is modern! :)
Regarding  the Burzum, I appreciate your candor, but I respectfully disagree with you.

I respectfully disagree of course. For example, the Trilogy of Books centers around the story of an inexperienced nobody named Frodo who heeds a call to adventure where he ventures deep into the unknown and accomplishes some great feat. The inexperienced unknown and unlikely character can be anybody of course. For Tolkien, Frodo and the shire were devices for the English Middle class. The details are besides the point. The story of that unknown and unlikely hero is a feature that is not found in Epics such as Gilgamesh or Beowulf. Certainly Greek literature such as the Illiad focuses on individuals of prominence. The tale is truly unique to this age.

I can go furtherand discuss the challenges and obstacles villains of these works represent challenges which are specific to their place and time of origin but I feel that the first example is sufficient. I think it goes without saying that history is contingent and the myths of Beowulf may once again be relevant to us. But for the time, we aren't at the mercy of a harsh and unforgiving environment during the dawn of a new civilization.

RE: Burzum

To each their own. It fails to inspire me the way earlier burzum's ambient explorations could.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 05, 2014, 02:01:18 AM
Nostalgia may be an unhealthy attribute, however, seeing oneself as part of a continuous lineage over time as opposed to an isolated atom with no connections to the past, is pretty healthy. I cant help but suspect that alot of the anti Varg/Burzum sentiment has more to do with ideology than anything else.

Varg doesn't just see himself as part of a continuous lineage over time. In fact, he is kinda doing the opposite (in one sense) by positing that 'racially' European people DO NOT form a continuous lineage with Homo Sapiens, but are in fact Neanderthals! Obviously, though, he sees himself as part of a European lineage. But it's not that he sees himself as part of a European culture that is stupid (race is another issue). What is stupid (and is evidence of his lack of contact with reality - location in a dream world - escapism gone quasi-militant, etc - which i also think is coming across in his current music which is heavy on symbolism and 'having the right imagery' and light on song development, texture and vairation - even within the ambient genre) is that he is positing extremely novel views about biological race, asserting that they are truly scientific, while also asserting that the rest of science is 'religion' (the rest meaning the majority scientific consensus from people who do this all day every day and have done it for 30+ years as tenured professors but who hold different conclusions to his own and so must be 'faking it').

How is the work of Varg different from the work of Tolkien? Surely one could make the same argument against Tolkien, to wit, that he was lost in a world of his own creation. Beyond the pseudo intellectual rhetoric, can anyone provide a musical analysis of the flaws on this album? Consider it a friendly challenge...:)

Lord of the Rings is actually a very nice allegory for the then developing clash between a rising materialistic, mass, proletarian and totalitarian empire (Sauron's/communist Russia) vs a semi-agrarian, bourgeoisie, apolitical, 'organic', and very English way of life (Hobbits/The West). It wasn't the heroic members of the fellowship who were entrusted with the ring - it was the individuals who explicitly renounced 'big picture' views, glory, hierarchy, and empire.

Varg's art has no connection with current issues, but that isn't a mark against it. His writing does, however, attempt to address political and scientific issues, and unfortunately it's painfully factually retarded and 'ideological' - in the worst sense; clouded.

You might agree with his 'conclusions', or his practical goals - but this in no way vindicates the fallacious and childish reasons he uses to get there. Championing his poor methodology can only do damage to the practical goals you like.

If you want a more compelling, mature, and engaged 'way into' some similar issues, I suggest this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL3agVbX6K8


Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 06, 2014, 09:42:01 AM
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December 2, 1953
76 Sandfield Road, Headington, Oxford

My dear Rob,

It was wonderful to get a long letter from you this morning. ... I am sorry if casual words of mine have made you labour to criticize my work. But, to tell you the truth, though praise (or what is not quite the same thing, and better, expressions of pleasure) is pleasant, I have been cheered specially by what you have said, this time and before, because you are more perceptive, especially in some directions, than any one else, and have even revealed to me more clearly some things about my work. I think I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded. The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism. However, that is very clumsily put, and sounds more self-important than I feel. For as a matter of fact, I have consciously planned very little; and should chiefly be grateful for having been brought up (since I was eight) in a Faith that has nourished me and taught me all the little that I know; and that I owe to my mother, who clung to her conversion and died young, largely through the hardships of poverty resulting from it.

Certainly I have not been nourished by English Literature, in which I do not suppose I am better read than you; for the simple reason that I have never found much there in which to rest my heart (or heart and head together). I was brought up in the Classics, and first discovered the sensation of literary pleasure in Homer. Also being a philologist, getting a large part of any aesthetic pleasure that I am capable of from the form of words (and especially from the fresh association of word-form with word-sense), I have always best enjoyed things in a foreign language, or one so remote as to feel like it (such as Anglo-Saxon)." - J.R.R. Tolkien, from his letter to Jesuit priest Fr. Robert James Murray

Quote
From a letter to Miss J. Bum (draft) 26 July 1956

"If you re-read all the passages dealing with Frodo and the Ring, I think you will see that not
only was it quite impossible for him to surrender the Ring, in act or will, especially at its point of maximum power, but that this failure was adumbrated from far back. He was honoured because he had accepted the burden voluntarily, and had then done all that was within his utmost physical and mental strength to do. He (and the Cause) were saved – by Mercy : by the supreme value and efficacy of Pity and forgiveness of injury.

Corinthians I x. 12-131 may not at first sight seem to fit – unless 'bearing temptation' is taken to mean resisting it while still a free agent in normal command of the will. I think rather of the
mysterious last petitions of the Lord's Prayer: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Quote
"The germ of my attempt to write legends of my own to fit my private languages was the tragic tale of the hapless Kullervo in the Finnish Kalevala. It remains a major matter in the legends of the First Age (which I hope to publish as The Silmarillion)"
― J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 257

I can't find exact letter quotations on his other influences, but it's well known that Tolkien liberally borrowed names, themes, and characteristics from the two Eddas, the Völsunga saga, old Anglo-Saxon poetry, and Greek mythology. Tolkien's two major influences seem to be his Catholic faith, and classical poetry and mythology.

One of the themes he mentions is that of Saruman representing the march of industry and machination, and many other industrious characters (such as Morgoth, Sauron, and Fëanor) are more easily seduced to evil. So, in part, Tolkien was anti-modern. Check out this stanza from his poem Mythopoeia, which was a response to C.S. Lewis' (who at that time was an atheist) claim that myths are "lies breathed through silver":

Quote
I will not walk with your progressive apes,
erect and sapient. Before them gapes
the dark abyss to which their progress tends
if by God's mercy progress ever ends,
and does not ceaselessly revolve the same
unfruitful course with changing of a name.
I will not treat your dusty path and flat,
denoting this and that by this and that,
your world immutable wherein no part
the little maker has with maker's art.
I bow not yet before the Iron Crown,
nor cast my own small golden sceptre down.

Tolkien's works are one of those magnificent pieces of art that are reinterpreted in numerous rays of light, because everyone wants him on their side. But if you read the man's private letters, academic essays, and prose outside of his legendarium proper, you discover a man of quite firm opinion communicating his intent clearly.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 08, 2014, 12:45:08 AM
This album bored the holy fuck out of me. Bad vocals, uninspired repetitive melodies, half formed ideas that go nowhere. It's not worth reading too much into the ideology behind it all because at the heart, it's just another shitty post-prison Burzum album rushed out less than a year after the last one.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 08, 2014, 10:51:57 AM
This is bad, and to some extent unnecessarily so.

VV could have dozens of better musicians stand in line to fill in the vocals, he'd only have to ask in a facebook update. This applies to some other (canned) instruments and the production as well.

Emptiness is the best song here by far. Still too poor a rendition to really warrant a re-issue. The worst is 'Ek fellr', a song so impotent that, if anything, it shows why European culture deserves to die. Inbetween are some songs that swiftly develop to a point where the melodies are left to drone on idly for far too long -any variation merely superficial- and then they end.

The old Burzum pieces usually had at some point a dramatic change of perspective that proved there were realms unknown to mindtravel about. That was music for brave, adventurous people, whereas the new songs remain cosy cardboard trompe l'oeils at best.

VV apparently lost his ability to construct songs that gain relief as they progress. The youthful spirit is definitely gone; it looks like ideology has taken over. At least they put the full album on YT themselves, the background image saying: 'Burzum - using music to promote European culture'. There's nothing more to it either.

This album is a lazy, cynical, self-conscious piece of propaganda. I'll take Brett Stevens' praise as I did with World Painted Blood.

Re: Burzum - The Ways of Yore
June 08, 2014, 02:53:30 PM
For discussion of ideology, please take it to the new forum. It replaces Interzone and all other non-music conversation here.



Regarding the new album: my impressions of it have improved since earlier listening. It enabled Varg to do what he was chafing at with Filosofem, which is to stop guitars from so dominating sonic space that differentiated voices are impossible.

It is more ambient, with less of a clear beginning and ending, but that's by design. This is music to drop out of this world into and the change occurs within the mood, not through change in mood overall. Some songs are transition pieces like some of the Ildjarn stuff. I like the original "Tomhet" better though.