Black Metal Trance part II: Burzum

If you’re familiar with Burzum you can skip this post as it’s mainly directed to people who are new to the genre.

I wasn’t really sure if I should bring up Burzum here at all – not because of his unfortunate political ideas, but rather because he must be the most discussed black metal artist ever. A quick googling gives something like 3,4 million hits…

But it’s only fair to bring him up, because he pretty much invented the hypnotic black metal genre, and was also very important for making the use of synths accepted in a genre where keyboards are somehow considered homosexual, but wearing tight leather pants and chainmail isn’t.

While the production quality of his albums is rather dreadful, it sort of compliments the music. Unfortunately this is not the case with 99% of all other poorly recorded/mixed/mastered black metal records, but this is the rare exception, and as we will see later in this series it’s a bit of a common theme for the depressive/hypnotic/epic style of black metal that I’m trying to cover.


My favourite Burzum album is Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, which has no weak tracks and also sets the bar for album progression. The first track is the slowest and most restrained one, but this is where he establishes the mood and the hypnotic, monotonous arrangement style. Over the next two he increases the energy but keeps the ultra dense mood, and then wraps it up with the epic ambient track.


The other one I’d have to recommend is Filosofem. This one isn’t as strong as a whole for me, and the progression is somewhat plagued by having the even longer ambient track as the penultimate one rather than just putting it last again. But this is still fucking fantastic, and the first four tracks certainly rival Hvis Lyset Tar Oss.

Burzum is an almost essential startingpoint for this type of music, regardless of wether you like these albums or not. The reason is that you cannot possibly explore black metal without running into references to Burzum, and these two albums in particular. Having heard them will make thousands of record reviews easier to understand, and might get you hooked on the style too.

Comments
One Response to “Black Metal Trance part II: Burzum”
  1. Ned says:

    I have very similar tastes towards hypno music with black metal and goa its dissapointing youre not continuing this as it could open my ears to more bm of the same style as this.by the way good taste