The Music of Burzum and the
Writings of Varg Vikernes

Classic Burzum

In 2011, Burzum released two albums, Fallen and the re-recording compilation of classics, From the Depths of Darkness.

Fallen showed a new style with more in common with Blazebirth Hall, Drudkh and Nocturnal Mortum than black metal of old. It was simple, punk-like and verse-chorus.

Before that, Belus explored the same style.

From the Depths of Darkness, released last year, “re-interpreted” old Burzum songs in a way that might fit Dimmu Borgir or another new-school more radio friendly black metal band.

In the years before that, two anthologies and one rarities anthology came out of the Burzum camp.

Without being judgmental, it is possible we can draw a line at 1999 and say that after that, Burzum changed. The classic era was over, and was replaced by a new era in which cultivating a larger fanbase and thus accommodating more mainstream tastes was the goal.

Prior to that era, there was an intermediate zone in which the spirit and ideas of classic Burzum were applied to ambient music in the style of Danzig’s Black Aria or other soundtrack/ambient neofolk bands.

The two albums of this era — Daudi Baldrs and Hlidskjalf — reflected a style that while different from classic Burzum, nonetheless picked up on its desire for atmosphere.

It’s worth including the final pre-prison album, Filosofem, in this mix because its goals and methods were similar, leading it to be called “Odinpop” back in the day.

Finally, before that came the triad of classic Burzum: Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown (re-titled Burzum), Det Som Engang Var and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.

When people think of Burzum, it is these they think of first. And in the history of black metal, and the rise of a traditionalist Romantic feeling among popular music, it is these albums that stand out the most.

Musicians change and times change. However, nothing really changes. The goals of life and spirit remain eternal.

However, here at we honor the changes by noticing them with the same wide-open eyes with which we noticed early Burzum music. We seek clarity and consistency, accuracy and efficiency of thought, and a guide in interpreting the idea that inspire the collective will among us.

As we go into another year, with another Burzum album Umskiptar ready to emerge, it is good for all of us to remember what our values are, and how even in changing times we might apply them.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 6:29 PM