6/24/2010 - Review by: Ben McCraw
Eschewing all notions, all preconceived thoughts and pointless arguments about Varg Vikernes or his work, I have opted to do what no other reviewer has done thus far--I will focus on the music itself.
Having released seven albums Belus is the eighth in the Burzum catalogue, It contains tracks produced from three different locations over the past twenty-two years (1988-2010) all meant to cohere into a singular conceptual work. The album derives its name from an ancient European god of light and innocence who serves as both the tragedy and ultimately, the triumphant hero of the story. Typically the Burzum sound can best be described as ethereal, as this was the intention of its creator who is quoted on his website as saying: "If I can make you dream when listening to this album, I believe I have done a good job". In other words, the music is meant to pull you into a state of silent introspection; some pieces jolt the senses with gritty guitars, others use atmospheric keyboard textures to spark a morbid curiosity of the unknown.
So, if you were expecting a drastic change in the overall sound, or rather for Burzum to sound like anything other than Burzum, then this album may not be for you. But for others, listen and allow yourself to escape into a world of things unseen--sometimes calming, sometimes nightmarish--and view it simply as a work of art. Inevitably black metal fans will draw comparisons between Belus and other black metal releases, but to clarify, these tracks are meant impart different moods, as opposed to the all out attack that is prevalent in so many styles of metal today. And in that sense, these songs may be more "black" than we'll ever know.
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