Apparently in Norway even after murdering somebody you get to see the light of the day again, as well as getting to make metal albums. Whatever. While in prison Varg used to make these noise-synth-spooky shit which dragged its dreary way through the course of albums like “Dadri Baldrs” or some shit like that. After coming out of prison, however, he promptly reverted to his early 90’s, old sound of the “Det Som En Gang Var” days. This time around however, the production has improved (obviously) and he doesn’t seem to be that obsessed with evil. Not that I judged that from the lyrics for the simple reason that I can’t understand them, and if you think that I will actually look them up somewhere….well that ain’t happening. No, rather the music, the vocals and the album cover (featuring a naked lady) seemed to suggest the above to me. The riffs are less ugly and evil, even triumphant in some places (but the cold Norwegian kind of triumphant), and the rasps are not as unearthly and he even talks in some places rather than the usual growling. You can actually hear the bass, not that it’s doing anything interesting other than making up the numbers.
The end result is somewhat average. Obviously it’s better than the prison era albums, but I miss the early 90’s vibe. I mean if Burzum sounds modern, what’s the use? Traditional, pure black metal was a lot about the vibe and atmosphere and that has been lost because of the better production values and the irritating bass. As said above, I didn’t feel anything on hearing this music as compared to the earlier albums where at least I got the whole black, cold, nihilistic wave. Plus, the riffs are not memorable, as simple as that. They are not even hypnotic. The friggin album is too long and without a lot of subtle variations except on the above average “Budstikken”. There is no progression on the album, except for the moronic intro and outro which are just there. They are not even that ambient. Plus I would only need ambience if the main tracks had been particularly oppressive which is not the case here.
So there you have it. It is not bad, in fact the old geezer knows how to make metal, warped and twisted though Varg is, you can’t argue with the fact that he knows what he is doing in the studio. Metal fans might want to give this a spin to see a twist on the old sound and they won’t be really bored, but I don’t think that anybody is going to be very excited about this stuff either. Not right.