BURZUM - Burzum Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)

BURZUM - Burzum Gatefold LP (Black Vinyl)

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Burzum is a special project for me. Its music was one of the reasons why I started to listen to extreme metal. I always found the sound of Burzum dark and enigmatic, but engrossing. Knowing that something like this was made by just ONE musician was even more astonishing for me. The atmosphere that Burzum's music transmits is pretty captivating and for me, this is one of those albums that has to be taken as a reference when playing black metal.

To start, I want to talk about the songs. Surprisingly, Burzum has a great deal of variety as to the songs. There is no reason why you think the album is repetitive. It goes from the accelerated rhythms of "Feeble Screams from Forest Unknown" and "A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit" to the more mid-paced songs like "Spell of Destruction". Equally, each one of the songs has something different to offer. The riffs are very varied; they are both raw and melodic in the precise moment. Even the instrumental pieces are great songs and immerse the listener to a grim environment.

What I want to highlight from Burzum is the achieved sound with very few resources. Despite the riffs are not very complex and the music is not as fast or as "aggressive" in comparison to some other black metal bands from back in those days, Burzum's music reached to be raw, visceral and a real ode to darkness. This is in part thanks to the production since as the album does not have a very sophisticated audio quality, this aspect was exactly what helped the music to have such a dark sound. The instruments execution is pretty decent and as I mentioned, Varg Vikernes is not precisely the most virtuous multi-instrumentist of all, but his work functions and he is very competent as an executor.

The voice is another great characteristic from this album. That shriek and agonic singing style can make any non-black metal listener feel uncomfortable or scared by such an impressive vocal sound, which, for me, makes it even better, as you know that this is a very dark and evil music style. It's impressive and makes Vark Vikernes a peculiar, but "iconic" singer (in his way).

To finish, the last thing I want to praise is the atmosphere. "Burzum" is a very dark record, everything thanks to the aspects previously mentioned. The music is capable to immerse the listener into a dismal and funeral atmosphere, and I think this is what makes good a black metal band (or project, in this case): the environment and sonorous style.

There's no much more that I can say about "Burzum". This is not my personal favourite Burzum album, but it's undoubtedly a masterpiece of dark music and for me, black metal at its purest style. Listen to "Burzum" if you want to know what black metal is about: pure darkness and murk.

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