Burzum - Sôl austan, Mâni vestan (Byelobog Productions)

Mr. Vikernes is back to the ambient mode with style.
Release Date: 
27 May 2013 - 12:30pm

The creative force behind Burzum, Varg Vikernes, seems to have no limits and after three excellent “come back” albums, and a compilation of re-recorded songs, now he abandons his black metal configuration again and he's back to the ambient sound field.

But what makes it so different from his previous atmospheric/ambient efforts like Hliðskjálf or Dauði Baldrs?

This time around Mr. Vikernes doesn’t rely 100% on midi sequencers to create his trips. There are samplers, acoustic guitars and all that jive this time around which enriches the sound of Burzum many times over.

Of course, as this is an ambient/dark ambient album, the very first impression is that all the songs sound alike, but whereas songs like Sôl Austan and Rûnar munt þû finna are great examples on how experience has increased the sound of Burzum, it’s on the third track Sôlarrâs that the opus pays dividends. It’s trippy, it has the acoustic piece, the electronic piece, yet it transmits calmness with the spatial metrics. (It's worthwhile recalling that the entire disc has no voices)

The album resembles a bit of Tangerine Dream (it has its influences for sure) but a less frenetic Tangerine Dream certainly, as Vikernes likes to evoke his ambiences and his “cosmic” sound to tell us a silent tale of Nordic heathendom as in the track Haugaeldr.

The electronic trance of the song Feðrahellir evokes the gelid gusts of wind of a Medieval Norwegian morning in a Fjord. The repetitive sequences really transport the listener to a place where he can find peace of mind and meditation.

Sôlarguði is even more contemplative of course perfect to hear in a cold winter night. 

Heljarmyrkr alternates frequencies to give that cosmic impression that the Nordic gods are sending encrypted messages to sleeping berserkers. The same starlike waves of radiations are felt in the song Mâni vestan.

But certainly Vikernes is no fool and he always keeps the best track for the epilogue. The last track Sôlbjörg is the perfect dénoûment  for a a great opus. 

This newest effort of Burzum seems not to be “his” definitive work, but it will set the pace for his future albums if Mr. Vikernes decides to hold his ground in the ambient sound field. It’s essential for fans and for those who seek blue chip ambient music for introspection.