Rating:
6.9
Burzum - Belus
8 March 2010


01. Leukes Renkespill (Introduksjon)
02. Belus' Død
03. Glemselens Elv
04. Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning
05. Sverddans
06. Keliohesten
07. Morgenrøde
08. Belus' Tilbakekomst


Let's not waste too much time squabbling over Vargs crazy antics. It's already surreal enough that there's a new Burzum out, let's not overload our poor brains. Belus, or the White God, has enough of Varg's magical touch to cause controversy from the very first second it was announced, with Varg playing his favourite part as innocent Manuel "I know noooothing". Ah, good times.

After majestic albums such as Det Som Engang Var, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Filosofem, a return to Black metal as promised by Varg left half of the Burzum-camp excited and the other half sceptical. For all of them, there's really only one question and that is: will Varg piss on his own legacy or not? Well, for all those that hate cliffhangers (I'm one of you): yes. Ok, his legacy may not be drenched in urine, but it definitely needs a change of underwear.

Belus aims to hypnotize the listener, but it fails due to too much fluctuation in songwriting quality, a lacklustre production and a general feeling of "we've heard this all before". Unfortunately for Varg, the tidal wave of bedroom depressive Black metal bands he inspired are the reason why Belus fails to impress.

As stated before, the songs vary too much in quality. While a few songs achieve the desired drony trance ("Glemselens Elv", "Belus' Tillbakekomst (Konklusjon)"), others sound too dull and bland to deserve a place in Burzum's discography ("Belus' Død"). With his monotone and repetitive style he takes a risk with each single riff, it absolutely has to be great to deserve endless repetition, and he just swings-and-misses too often. He should've taken another five years.

"Sverddans" and "Keliohesten", tracks five and six respectively, also do the album no good with their faster pace and hateful nature. Although decent songs in their own merit, they break the hypnotic cycle (which already tends to collapse on itself due the weak building bricks a.k.a. riffs incorporated in the structure). And that the most memorable riff in "Keliohesten" is a typical De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas-riff, that is just pure ironic gold.

However, by far the most disappointing element of Belus are the vocals. Varg has lost it. His wolf-esque howls have been replaced with mediocre, wholly unimpressive run-off-the-mill shrieks. You'd figure that after so many years of prison his shrieks would have entered a new dimension of pain ("pick up the soap, Mr. Arsonist"), but they have only grown tame and lame. He seems to have noticed this too, as he utilizes them less than before, often opting for clean vocals instead. These clean vocals are nice surprise - he does them with verve - but they cannot salvage the vocal performance as a whole.

In conclusion, Belus is a disappointment. It's not incredibly bad, it has its moments, but it ultimately fails to impress. You'd expect this from a beginning, potentially decent depressive Black metal band, but from Varg? No. Unfortunately for him, his legacy and his devotees have surpassed him. If this did not have Burzum written on the cover, nobody would have given a crap.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 6


Band profile: Burzum
Album: Belus


 



Written on 28.02.2010 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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Marcel Hubregtse - 06.03.2010 at 11:16  
Written by Immortal Rites7 on 06.03.2010 at 08:32

Does the author of this review realize that "Belus' Død" is basically a metal remake of the song "Dauði Baldrs" from the album of the same name?


He might. But even then the line quoted still stands imo. Cause even though Burzum's entire discography is dull imo, the dullest and blandest of the lot certainly is Daudi Baldrs.
Lucas - 06.03.2010 at 12:17  
Written by Immortal Rites7 on 06.03.2010 at 08:32

"others sound too dull and bland to deserve a place in Burzum's discography ("Belus' Død")."

Does the author of this review realize that "Belus' Død" is basically a metal remake of the song "Dauði Baldrs" from the album of the same name?


Yeah, I do know that. Although I do not like the album "Dauði Baldrs", at least he chose a new direction for Burzum on that one. Not a direction I like, but still. "Belus' Død" (and the rest of the album, in varying degrees) is old Burzum rehashed and 'ripped off' - and a very lacklustre rip-off at that.

So although I do not like either track, "Dauði Baldrs" was at least a daring and courageous attempt.
Mr. Doctor - 06.03.2010 at 20:09  
Am I the only one that enjoys Dauði Baldrs?... It's good when you are playing some games.

Hliðskjálf one the other hand is the unnecessary album.
Ellrohir - 06.03.2010 at 21:52  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.03.2010 at 20:09

Am I the only one that enjoys Dauði Baldrs?


possibly not only this, but as well you are the only one who enjoys whole Burzum (apart me of course)
Sunioj - 07.03.2010 at 22:42  
Written by K†ulu on 01.03.2010 at 23:23

Written by Sunioj on 28.02.2010 at 22:38

Review is spot on - everything about this album just screams 'cliche depressive black metal' and luckily that phase for me is long gone, inspiring absolutely nothing to me.

Any suggestions on not so cliche depressive black metal?


Off the top of my head: Krohm, Lantlos, Nyktalgia.
Uirapuru - 08.03.2010 at 08:04  
Perfect review!

Quote:
Ok, his legacy may not be drenched in urine, but it definitely needs a change of underwear.


Oh man... that's was epically perfect!

I really liked ''Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning'', it has some of the old feeling, depite the clean vocals.

Good album overall
Lucas - 08.03.2010 at 18:23  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 06.03.2010 at 20:09

Am I the only one that enjoys Dauði Baldrs?... It's good when you are playing some games.

Hliðskjálf one the other hand is the unnecessary album.


I think the guys over at ANUS like the Dauði Baldrs too.
Mr. Doctor - 08.03.2010 at 18:27  
Written by Lucas on 08.03.2010 at 18:23

I think the guys over at ANUS like the Dauði Baldrs too.


Thanks man, what a wonderful monday it has been.
Galar - 08.03.2010 at 19:26  
Written by Sunioj on 07.03.2010 at 22:42

Written by K†ulu on 01.03.2010 at 23:23

Written by Sunioj on 28.02.2010 at 22:38

Review is spot on - everything about this album just screams 'cliche depressive black metal' and luckily that phase for me is long gone, inspiring absolutely nothing to me.

Any suggestions on not so cliche depressive black metal?


Off the top of my head: Krohm, Lantlos, Nyktalgia.

Nyktalgia slays.
Slayer666 - 09.03.2010 at 14:59  
Spot on review, Lucas. It's like you took the thoughts right out of my head, and formulated them into this neat text.
Quite dissapointing, indeed. I do hope this is some kind of a warm-up album and that the next will be better. Doesn't sound that realistic, though. Come to think of it, all of the ex BM elite now suck pretty bad. Look at Satyricon, Darkthrone, this album, Mayhem (many will disagree here).... The only band that still sound as good, or nearly as good may be Immortal. I guess time caught up to them....

And, by the way, what the fuck is ANUS? I take it it's not the same thing as rectum.
Mr. Doctor - 09.03.2010 at 18:05  
Written by Slayer666 on 09.03.2010 at 14:59

And, by the way, what the fuck is ANUS? I take it it's not the same thing as rectum.


It's a website... I'm not going to say anything more than that because it doesn't deserve to be mentioned, it's full of ermm... assholes.

And yeah, I'm one of those who strongly disagree with what you said about Darkthrone and specially Mayhem
Slayer666 - 09.03.2010 at 20:09  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 09.03.2010 at 18:05

Written by Slayer666 on 09.03.2010 at 14:59

And, by the way, what the fuck is ANUS? I take it it's not the same thing as rectum.


It's a website... I'm not going to say anything more than that because it doesn't deserve to be mentioned, it's full of ermm... assholes.

And yeah, I'm one of those who strongly disagree with what you said about Darkthrone and specially Mayhem

When you said it was a website, I Googled it and found... well, something best described as an oxymoron. Nihilist society? I thought nihilists don't care about anything, why make societies then?
Assholes? Or anuses?

Oh, my... I'm shocked and disgusted.
I though you of all people should hate Darkthrone's new "let's make a complete parody of everything good we did so far, and do it with the cheapest, simplest, most repetetive music we can possibly make" approach to music.

Mayhem is debatable, it's something fresh (and most likely good) indeed, but I'm just not diggin' it.
Mr. Doctor - 09.03.2010 at 21:58  
Written by Slayer666 on 09.03.2010 at 20:09

Oh, my... I'm shocked and disgusted.
I though you of all people should hate Darkthrone's new "let's make a complete parody of everything good we did so far, and do it with the cheapest, simplest, most repetetive music we can possibly make" approach to music.


Weird, we had that discussion before, so I was aware that you already knew that I love both the old and new albums by Darkthrone.
Slayer666 - 09.03.2010 at 23:22  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 09.03.2010 at 21:58

Written by Slayer666 on 09.03.2010 at 20:09

Oh, my... I'm shocked and disgusted.
I though you of all people should hate Darkthrone's new "let's make a complete parody of everything good we did so far, and do it with the cheapest, simplest, most repetetive music we can possibly make" approach to music.


Weird, we had that discussion before, so I was aware that you already knew that I love both the old and new albums by Darkthrone.

We did? Hmm.... Must have slipped my mind. Well, now I know for certian.
Mr. Doctor - 09.03.2010 at 23:25  
Written by Slayer666 on 09.03.2010 at 23:22

We did? Hmm.... Must have slipped my mind. Well, now I know for certian.


I didn't get the whole "I though you of all people should hate Darkthrone's new style"

Why me? XD
BitterCOld - 09.03.2010 at 23:42  
I believe said discussion took place in my review of their latest... not that it has much place in a Burzum review.
Marcel Hubregtse - 10.03.2010 at 00:10  
This new one is just as shit as all hisn older shit,
Lucas - 10.03.2010 at 15:24  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.03.2010 at 00:10

This new one is just as shit as all hisn older shit,


No, his old stuff is good. This is terrible generic.
Ellrohir - 10.03.2010 at 16:11  
This is shit, old burzum is shit and like it anyway
Slayer666 - 11.03.2010 at 15:03  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 09.03.2010 at 23:25

Written by Slayer666 on 09.03.2010 at 23:22

We did? Hmm.... Must have slipped my mind. Well, now I know for certian.


I didn't get the whole "I though you of all people should hate Darkthrone's new style"

Why me? XD

Getting way off-topic here.
Because of the other bands and music you like. I mean, you like certian complexity, diversity and style in music. What Darkthrone does now is pretty much what most mainstram pop wankers do, only dirtier and uglier. Recycling the same stuff over and over again, completely soulless and devoid of any feeling.
Mr. Doctor - 11.03.2010 at 17:44  
Written by Slayer666 on 11.03.2010 at 15:03

Getting way off-topic here.
Because of the other bands and music you like. I mean, you like certian complexity, diversity and style in music. What Darkthrone does now is pretty much what most mainstram pop wankers do, only dirtier and uglier. Recycling the same stuff over and over again, completely soulless and devoid of any feeling.


Well my friend, you got it wrong. I like complexity and diversity in my music but it seems like we disagree in the concept of style. And the work that Darkthrone has done this latest years has actitude and style. It's another kind of underground music that don't have anything to do with Black Metal but I feel the passion in their music, they just want to play music and enjoy themselves and I respect them for that and enjoy their [b]uncompromising[b] music...
Oh... and there's some stuff I like when there's no real complexity, because hey... we are in this Burzum thread.

You say "recycling", but I could say the same thing about Dark Funeral, it's the same stuff that many other bands do but I fail to see any feeling on their music. Just evil for the sake of being evil and scare your grandmother... Posing like "a maisntream pop wanker"
Slayer666 - 11.03.2010 at 18:23  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 11.03.2010 at 17:44

Written by Slayer666 on 11.03.2010 at 15:03

Getting way off-topic here.
Because of the other bands and music you like. I mean, you like certian complexity, diversity and style in music. What Darkthrone does now is pretty much what most mainstram pop wankers do, only dirtier and uglier. Recycling the same stuff over and over again, completely soulless and devoid of any feeling.


Well my friend, you got it wrong. I like complexity and diversity in my music but it seems like we disagree in the concept of style. And the work that Darkthrone has done this latest years has actitude and style. It's another kind of underground music that don't have anything to do with Black Metal but I feel the passion in their music, they just want to play music and enjoy themselves and I respect them for that and enjoy their [b]uncompromising[b] music...
Oh... and there's some stuff I like when there's no real complexity, because hey... we are in this Burzum thread.

You say "recycling", but I could say the same thing about Dark Funeral, it's the same stuff that many other bands do but I fail to see any feeling on their music. Just evil for the sake of being evil and scare your grandmother... Posing like "a maisntream pop wanker"

You say uncompromising, I say a total fail. C'mon. When I listen to "Dark Thrones and Black Flags", I don't hear any passion. I hear a "fuck, I'm so bored! Let's jerk the guitar around a little, see what happens. We can put it in the next album, too". DT are just as poserish as Dark Funeral. You've read their statements about the new album, I hope. If you didn't, read it, and you'll know what I mean.

Burzum is (was) complex in atmosphere.

Dunno about you, but DF is pretty evil to me.... Not that I would call them very mature or deep, but after a listen of "Atera Totus Sanctus", I feel like I've just came back from a trip to Hell, kickin' angel ass or something. I know it's kinda stupid, but there.
Mr. Doctor - 11.03.2010 at 18:36  
Written by Slayer666 on 11.03.2010 at 18:23

You say uncompromising, I say a total fail. C'mon.


You know when you fail? When you are discussing and questioning things that are impossible to discuss because they are as subjective as I like blue and my friend likes red. C'mon.

I wasn't trying to mock DF, I was trying to make you get the fact that your arguments were as stupid as mine.
I have my own music tastes and definition of complexity, styles, originality, you name it.
You have your own standards too, try to understand that there's a line between people's different tastes and that no one is right/wrong and no one has the right to question someones tastes. I hope you'll understand and follow this advice. I won't discuss this with you anymore, it seems to be useless by the fact that there's nothing more to discuss due to the points I already explained.
Lord_Regnier - 12.03.2010 at 13:33  
Written by Slayer666 on 11.03.2010 at 15:03

What Darkthrone does now is pretty much what most mainstram pop wankers do, only dirtier and uglier. Recycling the same stuff over and over again, completely soulless and devoid of any feeling.


Agreed.
Got Mayhem? - 16.03.2010 at 03:04  
I don't think that it is quite that disappointing. I'll need to give it a few more listens though. Definitely not a masterpiece, but not a massive pit hole either.
LASTBREATH - 23.03.2010 at 21:18  
Just to give a Heads up (I'm sure alot of you guys already know) Belus was released on a limited edition "White" vinyl of suposably 2000 copies,the rest are regular "Black" vinyl.
There are MANY sellers on "Auction" sites that are selling the album sealed claiming that it is the "White" version,however it is imposiable to tell wether the album is White or Black vinyl without opening it.
ALL OF THE ALBUMS,WHITE OR BLACK VINYL,HAVE "LIMITED EDITION COLOURED VINYL" WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF THE ALBUM.
JohnWayneGacy666 - 02.04.2010 at 11:45  
I'm a burzum fan, have most of the albums i heard this was coming out is it ok? i won't buy something thats not a headbanging album if this is crap varg's probably been signed by the mainstream conformist crap like nuclear blast, roadrunner etc.. just like the sell out fagots from immortal
Metalhead2 - 08.04.2010 at 12:54  
This is an excellent review, Belus really sucks, to be honest
Dominator - 05.12.2010 at 20:55  
Written by JohnWayneGacy666 on 02.04.2010 at 11:45

I'm a burzum fan, have most of the albums i heard this was coming out is it ok? i won't buy something thats not a headbanging album if this is crap varg's probably been by the mainstream conformist crap like nuclear blast, roadrunner etc.. just like the sell out fagots from immortal

Here's where you're wrong. Varg created a masterpiece, which infortunately is 13 years too late. If you can stop time in your head, erase Dauði Baldrs and Hliðskjálf from your memory, this should happen back then. You are forgeting, he spent those last years in prison and time outside stopped for him. Now all you di*kheads that were probably in diapers back in 1995 can just stop everything. You never knew and never will know Burzum. He is one of the few, that is still true to what he believed back then. So stay with your shitty Mayhem that sold out years ago and F.O.
Destructo - 07.03.2011 at 08:03  
Rather repetitive stuff. But compared to the new album "Fallen", this is definitely much better. Fallens just sucks so bad.
wormdrink414 - 01.05.2011 at 05:35  
I'm definitely beginning to like this album more. There are clunker tracks that definitely detract from the trance-inducement but, imo, Belus' Doed and Glemselens make up for them.
Void Eater - 01.05.2011 at 09:36  
Quote:
If this did not have Burzum written on the cover, nobody would have given a crap.


Touche. Average black metal from an average musician who happens to be a murderer.
Mr. Doctor - 01.05.2011 at 16:14  
Written by Void Eater on 01.05.2011 at 09:36

Touche. Average black metal from an average musician who happens to be a murderer.


I wouldn't call his first 4 albums as average though. I also don't believe that those albums got the hype they got just because of the murder. We like it or not they were/are highly influential.

Hopefully this doesn't sound like it came from a fanboy, I'm just making an observation.
RavenKing - 01.05.2011 at 16:48  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 01.05.2011 at 16:14

Written by Void Eater on 01.05.2011 at 09:36

Touche. Average black metal from an average musician who happens to be a murderer.


I wouldn't call his first 4 albums as average though.


I would not even call them average. Mediocre would be a more fitting word.
Void Eater - 01.05.2011 at 21:32  
No doubt they were influential, and Det Som and Filosofem are above average black metal to me. Still criminally overrated.
Mr. Doctor - 01.05.2011 at 22:33  
Written by Void Eater on 01.05.2011 at 21:32

Still criminally overrated.


I won't put that into question, I have to agree.

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