BURZUM - Aske Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)

BURZUM - Aske Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)

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Though Aske was recorded in between Det Som Engang Var and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, it sounds much more primitive. It can be seen as a stylistic regression, returning to the bleak, less dynamic sounds of the debut, but also as an advancement, with the atmosphere becoming darker and more immersive.

The release begins with "Stemmen fra taarnet", a very simple yet effective track. The song begins with a very foreboding fade in, which leads into a fast riff that reminds one of entering the depths of Hell, or maybe going into battle, with a strong sense of impending doom in mind. The chorus, however, is a bleak, melancholic riff that solidifies the atmosphere, bringing the power of the song to new heights. Furthering the atmosphere even more are Varg's shrieks, which have been mixed in such a way that they sound distant, as if they are emanating from the fog created by the music itself. The song relentlessly marches towards a sudden, somewhat startling stop, after which the eerie and unusual "Dominus Sathanas" creeps in. This is an instrumental song, and it is mainly there for atmosphere purposes. Beyond the weird sound and cool riffs, there isn't anything remarkable about this song, though it serves an important role on the album.

The final song is the ten minute epic, "A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit". This appeared on Burzum's debut in a raw, demo like form, and Varg, in his dissatisfaction, re-recorded the track on here. It carries the same gripping melancholy as the original, though this has been heavily emphasized by a slower tempo and slightly clearer production. Again, the vocals and production lend a tremendous favor to this song, making it sound much more immersive.

Aske is certainly a valuable piece of Norwegian black metal, if you are even remotely interested in the genre, this is definitely something that you should own.

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