BURZUM - Filosofem Gatefold 2-LP (Black Vinyl)

BURZUM - Filosofem Gatefold 2-LP (Black Vinyl)

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While Varg might not be the best person personality-wise, as a musician, he's certainly got some talent. His debut self-titled album was already a great listen, but after some mediocre releases and another fantastic release with "Hvis lyset tar oss", Varg puts out his best album yet with Filosofem.

Black Metal is known for it's poor quality, but Varg uses that as an advantage. The album's opening track, "Dunkelheit", is distorted to a point where you can barely hear the guitar, bass, and drums, but that's part of the lo-fi aesthetic Varg was going for. By adding the distortion, it feels more raw and unfiltered. His vocals are also distorted, not helped by the fact that he not only shrieks, but also used the worst microphone he could find to record them, which was an old helicopter headset. Some may be bothered by the vocals, but I find them fitting to the aesthetic since it adds even more noise in this already chaotic album.

"Jesu død" is more of an underrated song off the album. The lyrics are entirely in Norwegian, but when translated, you find that it's a beautiful poem about a dead body withering away. Speaking of which, Varg's songwriting in general throughout the album is improved greatly from his previous works. Another great example of this is "Beholding the Daughters of the Firmament". The song talks about what life will be while in wintry pain, and what death will be like. The lyrics's poetic descriptions are kinda a contrary to the unfiltered, aggressive sound of the instruments and vocals, forming some sort of metaphor between good and evil.

Varg is known for his ambient songs, but his best ambient black metal song is from this album, titled "Rundtgåing av den transcendentale egenhetens støtte", which translates to "Touring Transcendental Self Support". The synths of the song gives it a space-like vibe, and while it's only 25 minutes long, the execution of the song is done well to a point where it feels like it lasts longer. It works as a far cry from the extreme sound from the rest of the album, and is a nice break from all the noise.

Overall, Varg had created an amazing album that ranges from the heavy distortions of "Dunkelheit" to the low-tone ambient of "Rundtgåing av den transcendentale egenhetens støtte". It's easily one of the best black metal albums to be released in the early 90s and a must listen to those getting into the black metal genre

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