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Burzum - Belus

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 06:01:36 AM
By the above reasoning, In the Nightside Eclipse isn't that great.

By my reasoning -that's the one you were referring to- it is. Although, admittedly, less so than most of the other albums generally seen as the black metal classics. I listen to Emperor a lot less than I listen to Sacramentum, Graveland, Burzum, and even Immortal.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 12:59:49 PM

Realization: Accept it and listen to it for what it is, without worrying about the butthurt kiddies who can't accept the fact so "defecate" all over it.


Which is every single person who expresses distaste for the album in any fashion, right? This discussion is honestly tiring me. Am I allowed to say that I think this album isn't the most interesting thing I've heard, or does that not meet the standards and expectations for the independent, open-minded, diverse and unique arbiters of taste around here? I enjoy engaging discussion over the validity of one's criticism, but this is becoming all too much a case of "butt-hurt kiddies" flinging insults at each from both sides; with no positive conclusion or result.

I never suggested one had to like it. If you don't like it that's fine, I couldn't really care less and I can see why the flaws and complaints in the album are valid in some ways and could drive away many people. They don't really bother me, and I find it to be an overall quality piece of work. Like I said, not the best thing ever, but I find it a refreshing album. I think Engram is better, since that's what everyone is comparing it to, but I still find value in Belus.

My comment was directed at those who expected the best thing ever, didn't get it, and are crying about it. Or those still upset over website domains.

MLK

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 03:48:43 PM
Is it old Burzum?  No. Could we have expected it to be old Burzum? No.
Why not? Could we not at least expect it to be as good as old burzum?

Maybe I'm the fool for having high expectations - I dont listen to a lot of metal any more since most of it is dross, classical music is far more satisfying - but to me it seems people have let their standards slip.

Experience however tells me that most will have tired of Belus in 6-12 months time and will realize that ANUS aren't just being egoistic in their panning of it.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 03:55:51 PM
Could we not at least expect it to be as good as old burzum?

I never want artists to regress. When Metallica regresses, we call it selling out.

There's a dual taboo on Burzum, however. First, people really hate to admit that black metal munched the turd since about 1994 or so. Second, Varg is an icon of hope for people everywhere who want to believe they can defend their culture, ethnicity, values, forests, and all natural things from the oversimplified utilitarian human variants.

I say however that Varg has industrialized his music, and not in the Godflesh way, with Bolus.

Look at the obvious facts:

* It's a spare parts album. These are random tracks thrown together
* It's obviously simplified and yet made pretty like an indie album
* The logo is more "standard" as is the image
* It's going to be a big seller even if he did reggae versions of Venom songs


Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 04:45:20 PM
There are three ways to regress

Become Metallica - Sell Out

Become Graveland - Wallow in your own repetition

Become Slayer - A little of Both, doing neither that well



Anyway, the concensus on this album that is forming is that it came out too quickly, it's not as good as the old material, it has it's good moments, the concept is not to be considered a flaw, and most of all, the idea of using old scrapped material was a bad idea.  Conversationalist went into it wanting it to be bad, and saw it so, and Cargest went into it defending it before he even heard it and now thinks it is the best thing ever.

My own opinion is changing toward the former, upon listening to "My Journey to the Stars" yesterday.  No, not all his music has to be as good and epic as that track, but it was a real eye-opener.  Sadly, it gets the typical post-99 review of "well it's better than most of the stuff out there".  

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 05:01:17 PM
I think Engram is better, since that's what everyone is comparing it to, but I still find value in Belus.

Other than a very rough correlation in time (it's been a year guys), I don't see any particular reason to compare Engram to Belus, though I certainly will agree that Engram is a more important album, and along with Gorguts, about the only thing that's come along since 1995 that really adds something substantial to the genre.  As for Belus, comparisons that come to my mind come from two camps:
 
-The bittersweet waning greatness camp (South of Heaven, Hammerheart, Sepultura's Arise, Panzerfaust, Battles in the North, Following the Voice of Blood, etc.)
-The recently mentioned false classics camp (Nattens Madrigal, Anthems to the Welkin, Eld, Dark Medieval Times, Drudkh's Autumn Aurora), all of which are good for "mood music," but not as freestanding art.

Placing this album in one of these two categories, or in a niche of its own (unlikely) is what will take some time, at least for one as "un-hasty" as me.  As far as expecting more from kings than from paupers, I'll only say that "disappointing" and "good" are not mutually exclusive.


Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 05:20:14 PM


My own opinion is changing toward the former, upon listening to "My Journey to the Stars" yesterday.  No, not all his music has to be as good and epic as that track, but it was a real eye-opener.  Sadly, it gets the typical post-99 review of "well it's better than most of the stuff out there".  

Listening to My Journey to The Stars really will make you see what once was is better than what now is.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 05:32:10 PM
Conversationalist went into it wanting it to be bad, and saw it so, and Cargest went into it defending it before he even heard it and now thinks it is the best thing ever.

Give me some "Drink the Poetry of the Celtic Disciple" any day.  In the Nightside Eclipse > Burzum, as well.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 06:32:57 PM
Other than a very rough correlation in time (it's been a year guys), I don't see any particular reason to compare Engram to Belus, though I certainly will agree that Engram is a more important album, and along with Gorguts, about the only thing that's come along since 1995 that really adds something substantial to the genre.

That's it: I'm not sure anything substantial has been added, or even should be, so that's why I wouldn't blame "Belus" for not having made possible the impossible (even though if someone could be expected to have done it, it would be Burzum). Varg's interviews constantly remind us how vague the original black metal idea was. As soon as it became defined, it developed mutations and diseases unto itself. It's perfectly fine to choose to play old style black metal, but that means pre-formatting your work; no structural trick or elucidation of philosophy while playing Darkthrone variations will revolutionize the meaning of black metal. As for the fringe phenomena and eclectic bands, they eventually beget their own movements, preserving some of the core ideas but bringing in others that had no place in the original concept of black metal.

"Engram" and "Obscura" were refreshing because of these extremely alien influences, but mark my words, they are the end of an age, not the beginning of one. 

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As for Belus, comparisons that come to my mind come from two camps:
 
-The bittersweet waning greatness camp (South of Heaven, Hammerheart, Sepultura's Arise, Panzerfaust, Battles in the North, Following the Voice of Blood, etc.)
-The recently mentioned false classics camp (Nattens Madrigal, Anthems to the Welkin, Eld, Dark Medieval Times, Drudkh's Autumn Aurora), all of which are good for "mood music," but not as freestanding art.

For albums of the first group the only possible critique is that the same band unfortunately did make an even better album; on their own, they shine.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 09:23:58 PM

Look at the obvious facts:

* It's a spare parts album. These are random tracks thrown together
* It's obviously simplified and yet made pretty like an indie album
* The logo is more "standard" as is the image
* It's going to be a big seller even if he did reggae versions of Venom songs



1.- I can agree with that. However, can we affirm that Burzum albums are that integral? Aske and Det Som Engang Var are more scattered, Belus seems to be as congruent as Filosofem is, partly thanks to the concept. Yes, the concept helps to connect material he made through the years.

2.- I don't understand what do you mean as complexity here. Still, I believe that half of the album is really good music, the rest is cliché and pretty but veeery repetitive riffs.

3.- The image and logo suck, we discussed that from its first appearance... damn, it is not even basically professional as marketing !

4.- It's going to be a big seller even if he succeeded Hviss Lyset Tar Oss. I don't understand if there's a point of criticism in this regard.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 26, 2010, 09:30:44 PM
It's Belus...how could it be the other way? How could he be different?

Judging by its elements alone it shouldn't made good impression on me. Quite the opposite. There are many things undeniably bad on this album. Song writing is simplified even in comparison with Filosofem, it succumbs to modernity, part of depth is lost because of guitar tone and production (it lacks that space which benefits debut and Filosofem), I hear Pink Floyd in it, I simply can't stand Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning (failed experiment which brings to mind very bad analogies) and Belus' Tilbakekomst seems obsolete for me (while I see nothing wrong with the Sworddance even if it's composed of ancient styles of metal, because it actually transfer its meaning through simple, obvious symbolism). However, taken as a whole and when connected with fragments of lyrics which I managed to understand through german translation it somehow manage to communicate its concept, there is a journey in it, but unfortunately (for me at least) rarely in song structure, rather through correlation beetween each songs. When you comprehend whole album and when you recall it in memory after listening. But don't forget that Vikernes abandoned more narrative style of debut long ago and for most of his carrer was seeking transcendence in layers of cyclic drones. Personally I would prefer Belus to be "told" utilizing Burzum S/T method.

I believe that ANUS judgement is temporary. They didn't applied same (holistic) criteria as for Engram, which is similarly constructed and have similar flaws.

Somehow I didn't like that brighter approach when taken by Abyssic Hate, Manes, Lugubrum etc. because they appeared to me as a non-metal, derived from rock and thus misplaced and destroying unity of theme, but then I realized that many great Black Metal works (by Darkthrone, Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Ildjarn, Graveland, Vlad Tepes or Legion of Doom) contained only as much death, darkness and tragedy as life itself and actually got broad range of moods, but as it seems they must be executed in certain way by certain people in certain context.

chb

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 27, 2010, 12:18:14 AM
Belu is pretty decent if taken on its own, but compared to Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Filosofem, it seems very boring and superfluous to me. The problem isn't so much that it's simplified (as Conservationist said): You can't really simplify Burzum's music much further but that the riffs seem trite compared to the earlier works, that there is no discernible overarching structure like there was on the older albums and that the music lacks excitement overall. There are some enjoyable moments, but they are few and far between. I enjoyed the final track, repetitive as it was, Glemselens Elv has its moments and Kamaidalthas Nedstigning is a very catchy song (not in spite but because of the goofy clean vocals).All in all, I didn't expect much of this so I can't say I'm greatly disappointed because I didn't expect much of this but I still hoped for something better from Varg.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 28, 2010, 03:57:27 AM
I would make a comparison between Engram and Belus: they both have similar riffing technique (at least to my untrained mind) but Engram is vastly superior to this. I've given Belus several listens to the point that it gives me a headache. I can listen to Engram for days straight without much effort.

Who can appreciate both Engram and Belus?

Engram has been defined as "vicious" and I agree with that. It is a heavily Dionysiac album.

"Belus is the shining white solar deity; enlightening and pure" says Vikernes. I find an Apollonian -black- metal album to be extremely valuable. Classifying it as "sunnier" is right in some sense, but it is a reduction and a misunderstanding as simplicity.

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 28, 2010, 01:43:25 PM

Re: Burzum - Belus
February 28, 2010, 10:39:31 PM
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I listen to Emperor a lot less than I listen to Sacramentum, Graveland, Burzum, and even Immortal.
Of course. Emperor is not worth anybody's time.

And Belus fails at being either entertainment or art.

....And nothing is good enough for my godly self to listen to.