Burzum – Fallen
(Byelobog Productions, 2011)
Burzum is the solo project of Varg Vikernes and Fallen is his second album since being released from prison for murdering Øystein Aarseth. I still consider this a black metal album as I understand black metal to be defined today, even though Varg has disassociated himself from the Norwegian scene he helped build. It’s also a dark ambient piece. Like Belus, I find a good portion of this album soothing instead of abrasive. This is music I could go to sleep to (which I learned today was one of Varg‘s goals), although Fallen does seem to have a cleaner production style that lends itself to be played at very high volumes. Contrary to popular belief, Burzum’s music (unlike Varg himself in the past) does not have a Satanic or Nazi theme to it. In fact, the project was spawned by Varg’s childhood love of acting out RPG gaming in the physical world in the backwoods of Norway. I will say I don’t agree with his path or beliefs, but I can separate the music from the man. I also believe a lot of the stories you have read have been twisted and sometimes fictionalized by the media. And that’s all I’m going to write about Varg or his new album, as I have learned that no one can really verbalize this music or Varg’s notorious crimes quite like the man himself. So I will let the man and the music speak for themselves.
“I will simply tell You not to trust anything You can read about me, unless it is written by me.”
About the new album, he writes
“Musically “Fallen” is like a cross between “Belus” and something new, inspired more by the début album and “Det Som Engang Var” than by “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss” or “Filosofem”. The sound is more dynamic – we mastered the album as if it was classical music – and I was more experimental than I was on “Belus” in all respects. Lyricwise it is similar to the début album, in the way that it is more personal and focuses on existential issues, but the mythological untertone known from “Belus” is still there. I have also included some ambient tracks – a short introduction and a longer conclusion”.
About Burzum, he writes
I have said that Burzum had an occult concept, but it is more correct to say it was a magical concept, or a concept built on fantasy magic.
If people knew that Burzum was just the band of some teenager that would sort of ruin the magic, I figured, and for that reason I felt that I needed to be anonymous. So I used a pseudonym, Count Grishnackh, and used a photo of me that didn’t look like me at all,
I wanted Burzum to be well-known, not me, but that obviously didn’t work out the way I had planned.
Burzum was supposed to be such a symbol. Burzum was an attempt to create (or “recreate” if You like) an imaginary past, a world of fantasy – that in turn was based on our Pagan past. Burzum in itself was a spell. The songs were spells and the albums were arranged in a special way, to make the spells work. Burzum was not intended for live-shows, but instead it was supposed to be listened to in the evening, when the sunbeams couldn’t vaporize the power of the magic, and when the listener was alone – preferably in his or her bed, going to sleep.
the artwork on the third and fourth album is inspired by traditional Scandinavian fairy tales. I never read any books about the occult Satanism, so those who believe I was influenced by Satanism are simply and obviously wrong. I did call myself a Satanist in a short period in 1992, but I never was a Satanist
The magic was necessary only because I wasn’t satisfied with the real world. There was no adventure, no fear or trolls, dragons or undead creatures. No magic. So I figured I had to create the magic myself. It was very sad to see that this magic was ruined or at least reduced in 1993, when the media started to write about it, and a lot of former country, rock and Death Metal bands in Norway suddenly dyed their hair black and started to wear corpse-paint and play Black Metal; to become famous, to make money and to get laid – and not to change the world. They didn’t seem to think about magic, that is for sure, but in their defense I must say they weren’t shown much magic either. The media twisted everything beyond recognition, like they always do. The new bands made Black Metal become a part of the modern world, rather than revolt against it, like they should have done. Maybe they felt attracted to it because the magic worked, because they felt attracted to something that was special. I don’t know. I just know that I don’t appreciate what it has turned into; just another unimaginative “sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll” subculture in and a part of the modern world. It has become part of the “bread and circus” of the oppressors – it has become a part of the problem.
Read more about Burzum and Varg‘s beliefs and version of history in the hundreds of written page at Burzum.org.