Burzum – The Ways of Yore sees release June 2, 2014

by Brett Stevens
May 7, 2014 –

burzum-the_ways_of_yore

Norwegian-French one-man black metal/ambient act Burzum released the cover and tracklist for its 12th album, The Ways of Yore. This album continues in the ambient style of previous Burzum ambient albums, but adds variations in style and vocals. Perhaps this will be closer to the recent Lord Wind, Ales Stenar, or some of the newer early music/neofolk/ambient hybrids from Europe.

Burzum released the following statement: “The Ways of Yore is my first step towards something new, which at the same time is as old as the roots of Europe. With The Ways of Yore I try to transport the listener to the days of yore, to make them feel the past, that is still alive in their own blood.”

Twenty years on, Burzum is still awakening the fantasy of mortals, one step at a time.

Tracklist:
01. God from the Machine
02. The Portal
03. Heill Odinn
04. Lady in the Lake
05. The Coming of Ettins
06. The Reckoning of Man
07. Heil Freyja
08. The Ways of Yore
09. Ek Fellr (I am falling)
10. Hall of the Fallen
11. Autumn Leaves
12. Emptiness
13. To Hel and Back again

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19 comments

  • Richard Head

    *snooooooore*

    Always appreciate what this guy is trying to do, but this album is like a hyper-simplified Japanese RPG soundtrack from back in the Playstation days.

    1. Jim Nelson

      I never heard anything like Heill Odinn, but hey, you’re the anime expert

      1. Richard Head

        I don’t know about anime music but really? Never played any Final Fantasy 7? Had better music and even funnier racialist commentary than what Varg provides.

  • asdfgh

    “To Hel and Back again”

    Freudian slip of his Venom-loving past that he denies…?

  • Brett Stevens Post author

    I’m glad he’s chosen the ambient style, which allows for more complex instrumentation and layering than anything reliant on loud guitars on constant drums. It’s a mature and probably difficult decision to do that. Looking forward to this; the last album was great, and this one could advance that start into a new style.

    The whole early music/neofolk/ambient scene, started mostly by Lord Wind and Suuri Shamaani, has kind of exploded. Bands are working this into a format with vocals, organic instruments, and yet the soundtrack-style digital instrumentation. It’s like punk for the 2010s.

    1. Bart

      A more or less similar scene has been existing for at least 2 decades, with labels like Cold Meat Industry, Cold Spring, etc. Where do you see dividing lines? (Of course, I’m not talking about the power electronics/noise side of such labels.)

      1. lilim

        Hell it’s happened in the Metal world before in quite similar style, I’m thinking mainly of Die verbannten Kinder Evas.

      2. Brett Stevens Post author

        What I heard from those scenes was structured differently and aimed more to be pure ambient or dark ambient. The newer stuff is more like Danzig’s Black Aria, if we’re going to use an older example.

        1. thewaters

          Im glad you mentioned that Danzig record, its too easily overlooked. Ive been pressing that record on people for a few years, to no avail. No one ever takes the time to listen to it! As far as the new Burzum goes, I am excited about it because I also think the last record was fantastic. I have my reservations about the vocals though.

          1. Brett Stevens Post author

            This new genre, whatever it’s called (“ambient neofolk”?), combines cosmic ambient like Tangerine Dream with soundtrack ambient like Black Aria. It also adds in the folkish overtones and song structures of black metal as opposed to aiming for pure background sound, so it’s more like black metal in effect as “songs.” All of these meld into the new format. Lord Wind, Neptune Towers (Darkthrone), Burzum and Beherit/Suuri Shamaani were the innovators here, although Neptune Towers took a Tangerine Dream worship approach and Beherit went more for an EBM influence. But these were the second generation after Black Aria, which was just a few years before. It was the touchstone and its influence lives on. Obviously so do the Conan soundtrack and Norwegian folk music.

    2. veien

      It kind of exploded and is hopefully yet to fully explode because still these projects have been somewhat indirect and their potential to be expanded upon extends far beyond the current state of what originally gave it life (underground metal). Though I’ve still got a lot of time for ‘metal done right’ I don’t think it’s where the growth is.

      1. Brett Stevens Post author

        Though I’ve still got a lot of time for ‘metal done right’ I don’t think it’s where the growth is.

        Very few serious musicians are interested in metal anymore, because any time you see an audience gulping down transparent crap, you can be ASSURED that anything of real quality will be bypassed.

  • dawn

    I hope that sample is not indicative of the album as a whole. The last record from Burzum has grown on me; its his only post prison work I appreciate, but this sounds dismal based on what he’s previewed.