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Burzum - Belus

Burzum - Belus
February 20, 2010, 02:52:49 PM
listening now, first track pretty good honestly.

If this song is any indication on the rest of the album, if new Slayer got praised around here, this will cause a flood of ejaculate matter.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 20, 2010, 03:02:05 PM
It can be found in the audiofile section.

I like what I am hearing so far, but you know how deceptive a first listen can be. One thing that is clear from the get go is this isn't a Dissection situation where the modern shit resembles a recent style and suffers from misdirection and a loss of ideals.

Other opinions on this keep harping back on bad guitar playing, but what I am hearing sounds so far like he is staying well within himself. Those opinions are typically originating among those who don't understand what Burzum was really about anyway. As if the guitar playing on early Burzum was great or anything. It's understandable he may need an album to find his legs technically, in any event.

I'm going to spend the day with this album.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 20, 2010, 03:39:33 PM
I just did.  One of the best days of my life.  Spent most of the day on the train, staring out across the semi-industrial/suburban landscapes through the window, listening to Belus on repeat, and generally being stricken by an indefinable sense of absolute awe.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 20, 2010, 10:59:38 PM
It's just after lunch here, and I fell asleep a third of the way through Glemselens Elv. Continuing the album now. There are still some beautiful  Burzumesque melodies (that strangely sound more like less inspired imitation bands like I Shalt Become than Burzum), but overall this album is just a disorganized amalgam of the worst of Ukrainian droney black metal, North American hispsteresque bands like Aggaloch, shoegaze bands like Alcest and a healthy dose of norsecore.

Utter crap.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 21, 2010, 12:23:02 AM
Ten to one Varg doesn't even know what half those bands you just assbabbled even are.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 21, 2010, 12:51:53 AM
Great, now when I talk fondly of Burzum I have to clarify "old Burzum."

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 21, 2010, 12:54:20 AM
I hope this doesn't put anyone off from enjoying the album or kill their own hopes or alter their own opinions...

but Belus really is Diet Burzum: I was assuming that on this album he'd really expand on what he'd made before, but instead Varg just retread the tired, old beaten path, and did it hurriedly so. He's pulled a Metallica, sans-dead bassist.

It's still very much palatable like our old Burzum, but, like diet soda, do I really want to consume this toxic cancer-causing shit? Is it really rewarding in the end, or did I just waste 40 minutes of my life again playing something I don't really, honestly enjoy?

The riffs are basic, droning and minimal -- typical Burzum Filosofem style -- but so are the entire arrangements of the songs, and that's where I am left un-awed. I've listened to post-80's pop punk with more musical drive and ambition than this, and that's not saying much. lol

It pained me to listen to this because there were so many possibilities in this music, and they were completely wasted on Lego-tower pop music arrangement. Hot Topic will eat this shit up though.

Filosofem was a step down from Hvis Lyset Tar Oss in terms of dimensional development versus droning repetition, where Filosofem relied much more on the latter, but still ventured off enough to paint a big-enough picture. From what I remember, since I stopped listening hours ago, Belus relies almost entirely on droning repetition -- something you'd expect from someone who doesn't grasp musical form very well, which is surprising, because Varg seemed to intuit form expertly on all his previous releases.

There's this concise, droning patterned repetition in Filosofem, but this repetition is encapsulated in chunky phases and are arranged accordingly -- not for the ADD-ridden or the impatient. This is already really minimalistic form. But dumb it down a little more, and you got "twee pop music", like the reviewers around here would put it.

The aesthetic is refined; nice and cute and sparkly. Beneath this wrapping we find little, however. It's like a hamster wheel journey through a scrolling forest wallpaper.

All those things said, if Varg doesn't remake his keyboard albums into something really amazing on metal instrumentation in the near future, someone else should take the liberty of doing so, since it's clear he barely even cares about his music anymore or has the spirit for it; he's got other things on his mind now.

Whether he was influenced by contemporary bands, or whether his artistic mentality took him to the same path of least resistance as everyone and their mother's BM bands arrived through, we don't know: All we know is that they both arrived at the exact same place, regardless of means.[/2cents]

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 21, 2010, 01:17:27 PM
A Comparative Review:

Whereas Daudi Baldrs sounded like an even more repetitively structured Filosofem with more melody and played on keyboard...
...Belus sounds like the 1or 2 riff per song Hildskjalf with more rhythm and played on guitar.

If you liked Hildskjalf, how do you find this album less interesting? The way I see it, they are either both good or both bland. I think they're both pretty bland. This isn't a Metal FAIL as we've used the term before because this isn't a sudden decrease in quality like other albums considered to be fail, this is a trend over the last 3
since the self-titled.

Also something to note might be the amount of album-level organization on Belus. The first couple were more like collections of songs, with HLTO, Filosofem, Daudi Baldrs and (Well, I don't know about Hildskjalf) being more like a continuous story, and literally a story in the case of the keyboard albums. Album-level organization was a positive trend for Burzum at least until now, but I don't hear much of that on Belus.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 21, 2010, 03:38:20 PM
By the sounds of it Varg had intended this to be a collection and reworking of older material rather than a continual narrative.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 21, 2010, 06:09:51 PM
I was going to say that "Demo Comp." would probably cool some tempers as far as this release is concerned, and might expose how out of control tempers have apparently gotten.  I don't care if Varg released a shitty album.  He did the same with two before it imo, and never bugged anyone with anything as far as marketing is concerned.

I figure it came out because he had some old material sitting around and he knew how to play it.  There's also obviously some intrigue in what's done behind the scenes, but I doubt that had anything to do with it.  If it did then why not sign with a huge label and absorb press left and right?

Overall I think you people are just overreacting.  If he never came out with another album a crowd of people would dust off pitchforks for that too.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 21, 2010, 09:19:33 PM
I was completely dissapointed by Belus at first, now after more hearings I found that Glemmselens Elv, Kaimadalthas Nestigning and perhaps Keliohesten are good songs, I find these above the criticism made so far about the album.

Belus Dod and Sverdans sound extremely cliché, Morgenroede has a beautiful A B that goes nowhere but to a drone that lasts through Belus Tilbakekomst.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 22, 2010, 12:10:32 AM
I find the album to be somewhat of an anachronism, where it would of made much more sense 15 years ago. Yes it is good, but it's hard to distinguish it from what we've had since then (Thorns (although this was already available), I Shalt Become, Manes, Drudkh etc, I find are very similar in at least terms of aesthetics). Conceptually and aesthetically the album is beautiful, riffs are typical of Burzum; interesting and at times moving, but there's songs which lead to no where and become overly repetitious ("didn't I just hear this segment of the song 2 minutes ago?"). Like I previously mentioned, it's so similar to a lot of releases in the past decade of black metal that it would probably go unnoticed if it were not a Burzum release.

Personally I enjoy the direction bands like Burzum and I Shalt Become are going, I find it more mature artistically and progressive as a genre in moving away from the cliches of rock music (stereotyped song structure, satanism, racism, childish imagery, scenesterism and other forms of low-brow culture) but their latest albums just aren't exceptional as their earliest releases were and while containing highly memorable riffs, lack any coherent direction. They've got the right idea, but they just aren't producing the quality of work we expect from them.

Also, I find a lot of accusations of selling out or sucking up to the label inaccurate, I think in this case Varg's biggest mistake was not recognising the flaws in his work and the fact that it obviously isn't in the same league as the earlier albums, but of course, once a studio has paid for a recording of an album, I imagine it would be incredibly difficult for someone in Varg's position to say "No, I don't think this is up to par". Pragmatism triumphs idealism in some cases unfortunately.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 22, 2010, 01:23:00 AM
Quote from: Varg Vikernes
"If I can make you dream when listening to this album, I believe I have done a good job"

Do people never remember that his albums are meant to put you into a deep, almost sleep-like trance, from which real sleep is easily attainable?  Because every single Burzum album does that to me, if I listen to it all the way through, and have nothing else to do.  Belus is no exception.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 22, 2010, 01:59:33 AM
I find the album to be somewhat of an anachronism, where it would of made much more sense 15 years ago.

You mean when the material was written?

I have a hard time stomaching complaints about the album sounding like a rip-off.  Of what?  Himself?  And then there's the line about messing up some logical order of Burzum material, as if anyone would have intuitively known what came out when without prior knowledge.


Re: Burzum - Belus
February 22, 2010, 02:14:55 AM
By the sounds of it Varg had intended this to be a collection and reworking of older material

He calls it 'cherry picking' in some interview. Deep inside he must be a cynical man.

rather than a continual narrative.

Why, then, the emphasis on thematic uniformity?