BelusBurzum is a musical project by Varg Vikernes (originally under the pseudonym “Count Grishnackh”). It began during 1991 in Bergen, Norway and quickly became prominent within the early Norwegian black metal scene.[1] During 1992 and 1993, Burzum recorded four albums; however, in 1994 Vikernes was convicted and imprisoned for the murder of guitarist Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth and the arson of several churches. While imprisoned, Vikernes recorded two albums in the dark ambient style.

Belus is the first album to be released after Varg Vikernes‘ May 2009 parole from prison, where he served almost 16 years of a 21-year murder sentence.[5][6] In November 2009, he announced an upcoming release of the new album, initially titled Den Hvite Guden (“The White God” in Norwegian). In December 2009, Vikernes announced changing of the title to Belus due to what he described was a backlash against the perceived racist nature of the album.[7] Vikernes has stated that the previous title had nothing to do with skin colour and racism, but was simply a common term used to describe the God Baldr.[8]

Vikernes suggests that “Belus” is “the so-called Indo-European name for Baldur/the White God”, a purported life-death-rebirth deity that Vikernes sees reflected in Greek Apollo, Norse Baldur, Gaulish Belenus, and Slavic Belobog and Jarilo, among others.[9]

Of the other theonyms employed in the lyrics, “Lukan” is intended to reflect Loki,[10] “Kaimadalthas” both Heimdallr and Hermóðr (which Vikernes believes were initially the same god, Haimaþellar)[11] and “Kelio” Norse Hel. [Wikipedia]

Lukans Renkespill [Leuke’s Plot]—-This 33 second intro is full of odd sound effects and almost Industrial style atmosphere that sets the listener up for….

Belus Doed [Belus’ Death]—- Beginning with a slight muted sound, the music is layered and full of typical Norwegian atmosphere. The vocal enters and seems really pushed to the back of the mix…giving the tack a classic Emperor feel. The lyrics are all in Norwegian and the meaning is left to the imagination and the mood of the music. I don’t understand this, but I love it!!!

Glemselens Elv [River Of Forgetfullness]—-With an almost mainstream sound at the beginning of the song, it causes me to scratch my head…as the music intensifies, so does the dark cloud of the classic Norway sound. the guitars are melodic and not in the least bit abrasive….after a very long period, the vocal enters and is layered in evil tones. I love the muted shrieks from Varg….it adds to the mystery, torment and frightfulness of the track….to be honest, I could listen to this all day.

Kaimadalthas Nedstigning [Kaimadalthas Desent]—-This begins in a much more aggressive and Black Metal fashion. I the music were not so muted, the clarity on this release really suffers as I think Varg records like it is the early 80’s. The vocal is maniacal and tormented…you get the point even though you can’t understand a damn word. The spoken interludes are much out of step with the current recording community, but this guy is his own man…as this recording shows. When Varg actually does sing…it is [gasp!] damn pleasant.

Sverddans [Sword Dance]—-Nice guitars on the opening of this track…the drums enter and they appear monstrous. The vocal seems to come from the depths of hell and the result is a huge track. This is by far my favorite track on this release…the drums and the pace of the guitars are magnificent. the vocal is a would be expected, but the clarity of the leads are what really gets it for me on this track.

Keilonesten [The Kelio Horse]—-Coming out of the darkness with a low hum that grows and grows, the guitars come together to create a nice melodic barrage of sound. The drums, again, are stellar. The clarity of the song is no better though….this culd and should be so much crisper to the ear. The vocal is full of torment and anger…there is no mistaking the classic sound of the early 80’s Black Metal movement. This is really nice, I just wish it were a bit clearer. As the song progresses, so does the speed of the music and the pounding of the skins…creating a nice wall of darkness that i seem to require these days.

Morgenroede [Dawn]—-This has a really nice large sound…there even seems to be some clarity to the layers of music being produced. The high hats on the drums seem crisper and the wall of bass is not as deep. On the other hand, the vocal seems to be pushed even further to the back of the mix. This is nice…musically, I think one of the best on the release…vocally, it suffers for me.

Belus’ Tilbakekomst [Belus’ Return]—-Layered with monstrous sounds and magnificent atmosphere, this 9+ minute track covers the gamut, from he black ambient sounds of the past two Burzum releases to the 90’s era Black Metal that Varg still tries t remain true to. the slow plodding sounds of the intro is just the beginning, leading you to believe that there is brutality to come. But, the song never really develops to my liking….this is 9 minutes of the same chord being played over and over again. Still classic in sound, the lac of a true vocal is a disappointment.

***3/4 out of 5


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