Company: Candlelight USA Release: 2008 Reviewer: Devil Dave Genre: Black
Good black metal, but pretty average
Being a black metal fan I know the history. If you don't, go pick up a copy of Lords of Chaos by Micheal Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind where you'll read about the formation of BM in Norway with two bands at the center--Mayhem and Burzum. Mayhem's founder and guitarist Euronymous was brutally stabbed and murdered by Varg Vikernes, the founder of the one man band Burzum. Vikernes was convicted of the murder and a series of church fires throughout Norway. He has been in jail since 1994. Most of the Burzum releases were recorded while he was imprisoned and most of these recordings were very scarce in the United States. This record is the answer to that--a collection of 9 essential Burzum tracks.
Burzum started out sounding pretty much like any other black metal band at the time. I honestly was not very impressed with the band to tell you the truth. I have always felt that Mayhem and Emperor did this type of music much better. I listened to Burzum in the 1990's and pretty much forgot about the band. Listening to this anthology, I find that Vikernes is now doing more ambient music, sound effect slow guitar or piano passages with no lyrics to be found. I actually like this much more than his attempts at being black metal; it's experimental and actually feels as if it has more emotion behind it than his earlier stuff. It's music you can put on in the background and just chill out to. It has a much better recording quality to it than the earlier songs also. I may actually go out and try to buy some of this material if I can find the albums.
So all and all if you are a fan of classic black metal you really can't go wrong with this release, but you will be better served to find the original recordings. Like I said it's good black metal, but pretty average. The ambient music though actually makes this album an interesting listen. It's much better than the original material and like I said it stands apart. If you are curious about the band pick this cd up. If you are a long time fan pass this one up and hope you get some new material one day soon.