Next review: » Burzum - Umskiptar
Released: 2011, Candlelight Records
While I can't exactly claim to speak from experience, I'd waver a guess that the Nordic correctional system isn't quite the antagonistic breeding ground you see in action on shows like America's Toughest Prisons. At the very least, it doesn't seem to have turned Varg Vikernes into the rabid animal some may expect, as evidenced by Burzum's last outing - 2010's BELUS. Surprising and disappointing in equal amounts by virtue of its measured, reined-in sound, Burzum's long-awaited comeback was hardly cut from the same cloth as the hellish battering rams released by the likes of Marduk and 1349 in recent years.
FALLEN follows the same lines - demure even compared to Burzum's earlier work, though certain common traits haven't been sacrificed. For one, the seven tracks on offer still boast all the acoustic refinement of a dictaphone, with the exception of Varg's vocals, which alternate more frequently than ever between breathless rasps and muted, haunting clean lines. So too the tuneful sensibilities that crowned efforts like FILOSOFEM remain firmly intact. Those melodic lines are largely responsible for the excellence of tracks like "Jeg Faller" and "Ehnver Til Sitt". Elsewhere - "Vanvidd" being a glaring example - there's an unfortunate, inescapable sense of deja vu which given the album's lack of gonads in other areas becomes hard to stomach.
While the novelty factor may have worn thin on newcomers, FALLEN will certainly still delight the Burzum hardcore. It's not a bad record by any means, but you may find yourself waiting in vain to break out in the same sort of goosebumps you did when you first heard DET SOM ENGANG VAR.
1. Fra Verdenstreet
2. Jeg Faller
5. Ehnver Til Sitt
7. Til Hel Og Tilbake Igjen
Varg Vikernes – vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, synthesizers
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