There’s the story and the anti-story story, the story is seen in docs, we all know: MURDAAA. The anti-story story is seen in the every music review of Burzum since Varg Vierknes release from jail: FORGET ABOUT THE MURDAAAA. With the release of his third record since getting out of jail, there is the story of the music: post MURDAA and pre. Then there’s the story of this album, which is anti-story. The album is very anti narrative and anti- regular planes of existence, living outside of the verse-chorus-verse thing. Instead the record is a mixed bag of extended guttural drones shifting with rhythmic guitar call and responses, and of course strange Norwegian chanting and sighing.
The record bookends with short pieces that involve noise-y dronescapes and hard beating tom wrecks. This sort of sets the idea for the rest of the record. The record deals a lot with heavy planes of dark straightforward chants and placid soundscapes that are interrupted heavily with another side of the black metal milieu; sharp, super compressed fuzzed out straight guitar that interacts with more soft and clearly spoken detuned pulls. In the shorter tracks a few planes center the pieces with the other sorts of ideas piling themselves and attacking fast, in the longer ones different pieces come and go, serving through the composition, so that the pieces may end at a completely different place than they began, though how they got there is totally confusing to the listener.
The plane that always seems to surface to the top is the powerful and well mixed vocal tracks. The vocal tracks always have the same feel, long pursed vowels in Norwegian. In comparison to the mix of the drums and guttural intense guitar, the vocals and nicely presented, gently placed reverb and precise volume placement makes the voices sound like whispers in the listener’s ear, if the listener is wearing headphones.
Composing by throwing together different tropes, rhythms, and dark melodies into mega compositions, in which each trope moves on it’s own, not governed by a central structure holding everything together is a proud tradition of European composition, and one rarely found in Rock ‘n’ Roll. Burzum comes out of both of these traditions. Which tradition this record comes out of is clear.