Belus

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Band Name Burzum
Album Name Belus
Type Album
Data de aparición 08 Marzo 2010
Producido por Eirik Hundvin
Enregistrado en Grieghallen Studio
Estilo MusicalBlack Metal
Miembros poseen este álbum291

Tracklist

1.
 Leukes Renkespill (Introduksjon)
Listen00:33
2.
 Belus' Død
 06:23
3.
 Glemselens Elv
Listen11:54
4.
 Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning
Listen06:43
5.
 Sverddans
Listen02:27
6.
 Keliohesten
Listen05:45
7.
 Morgenrøde
Listen08:54
8.
 Belus' Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon)
Listen09:37
8.
 Belus' Tilbakekomst (Konklusjon)
Listen09:37

Total playing time: 52:16

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Crónica @ hack

10 Marzo 2010
Finally a real black metal album from Burzum, following 2 boring synthesizer albums that were recorded in a Norwegian prison, Daudi Baldrs(1997), and Hlidskjalf(1999). He could have done something much more wicked with his synthesizers, on those 2 albums, like Black Funeral did with Az-I- Dahak to entertain us. Varg Vikernes is the legendary and infamous performer for the one man black metal band, Burzum. He quit recording black metal albums in prison after, Hlidskjalf, because he thought that it gave him a bad image in the eyes of the parole board. He served almost 16 years of a 21 year sentence and was released in May of 2009. The name Burzum was taken from the fantasy novels of Tolkien and it's supposed to have a dark connotation. He liked to play role playing games like Dungeons And Dragons and was also a fan of Tolkiens books in his teenage years.

Now that he's been released from prison, he can use stringed instruments in his recordings. About 9 months later, he's released a new album called Belus. Belus is the Latin name for the ancient semitic god ,Baal. It comes out about 11 years after his previous release.

The first track, Lukans Renkespill, is a 30 second intro that sounds like the clatter of a hard bouncing object. Belus Doed is a slowly melodic song with some sharp guitar leads. It transforms into some catchy tremolo guitar picking, with mildly grim vocals. It alternates between the full guitar riffs and the tremolo picking. It ends with more melodic tremolo guitar picking, that sounds typical of Taake or Satyricon. The next song is called Glemselens Elv and means Glemselens river in Norwegian. It's a long song at nearly 12 minutes. It's got a bouncy bass rhythm, melodic tremolo guitar picking, and raspy yet mildly grim vocals. The tremolo guitar picking becomes very skillful, halfway through the song, and resembles that done by Taake. An epic bass rhythm breaks into the song, then the focus goes back onto the guitar picking. Varg demonstrates that he can still handle a guitar after almost 16 years of abstinence from practice. Though it sounds somewhat intricate, it also sounds too soft for a black metal song, and lacks intensity.

Kaimadalthas Nedstigning has a very interesting song structure. The guitar riffs shift at different speeds, with the last note being suspended. There are some brief interludes of spoken voices. These interludes transform into some geeky clear voice singing, that sounds something like the vocals of Rammstein. Then the end of the song resumes that artistic pattern of music. Sverddans means sword dance in Norwegian. This is a faster song, that shreds softly, with a mildly grim voice. Then there are interludes of fast guitar picking, that are done so intricately, it would impress country artists like Charlie Daniels. Then this 2 and a half minute song ends the way that it started, with soft shredding.

Keilohesten starts with melodic tremolo picking like Taake or Svartsyn. Then alternates with rhythmic bass lines. The tempo moves faster with catchier bass hooks, interspersed with even catchier tremolo melodies. It ends with a speedy bass rhythm. Morgenroede starts with soft melodic guitar picking, though it lacks intensity. It is broken up with even duller interludes of bland bass strumming. This song is boring and drags on for nearly 9 minutes. Belus' Tilbakekomst means the return of Belus in Norwegian. It's a long instrumental at over 9 and a half minutes long. It's characterized with sharp guitar strumming at a slow tempo, with bass playing in the background. It's a very atmospheric song and also very repetitive. So much so, that it sounds like the CD is scratched. This song sounds like it was written for people who are zonked out on pain medication, instead of for the black metal fans who want to rock out.

This album lacks the dark rawness and also the tortured screaming, that the black metal fans have come to expect from a Burzum album. It doesn't have the intensity of the earlier albums like Aske, Det Somgang Var, or Filosofem. Prison must have been a bad influence for Varg, because he's obviously lost sight of the dark and hateful mood, that has made Burzum such a popular band. I've heard lots of black metal demos, that were better than this album.






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Demogorefest - 10 Marzo 2010: personally, i was pretty disappointed with this album also, i liked his first album, Aske, but the rest of his "Black Metal" stuff is average, if not worse, in my opinon
hack - 11 Marzo 2010: Infinity Zero, you're mistaken. I never wrote that these songs were great. Some of these songs do have intricate picking, but it's nowhere near as flashy as Taake or Trivium. Yeah, I have heard better demo albums than this.
JoeNoctus - 11 Marzo 2010: Then shouldn't the rating reflect that? 15/20 is a good score.
InfinityZero - 26 Junio 2010: You can change the rating you've given an album. Just go to where it shows the album's rating, click on the rating score, and you get taken into the list of people who have rated it. Find your name and click the "edit" button to the left of it.
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Crónica @ InfinityZero

16 Octubre 2010
So here I am, seven months after the long awaited release of Burzum's 'Belus'. There are two simple reasons that this album was so looked forWard to: Burzum, once arguably the biggest black metal band out there, has had a 11-year hiatus, due to Varg Vikernes (that's 'vee-ker-niss') being imprisoned for murder. (Varg Vikernes being the man behind Burzum, who does all the instruments and vocals). The other reason being that, if you haven't noticed, black metal as a genre has taken a turn for the worst. Every great band (Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone, Mayhem) has either broken up or allowed their music to turn into garbage. I guess that made Belus the album people hoped would bring back black metal to its underground, unheard of, nitty-gritty glory. And let me say that I am one of the people who was rabid with anticipation. I wasn't there when Varg Vikernes started Burzum. I wasn't there when he released his albums (at least, I wasn't into heavy metal) and now, I was witnessing a comeback that almost nobody thought would happen. And I was ready for a great album.

Eventually, the album came out. It was called Belus, named after the same mythological god that Burzum's ambient albums were based on (nice to know Varg is still obsessed with the same story after 13 years)... With learning this, I figured that Varg would be doing his ambient albums with guitars, drums, and vocals. Then I saw the album artwork, and had another wierd feeling that this album would be dissapointing. To me, every Burzum album before Belus had perfect cover art: it really depicted the atmosphere in each album, and eccentuated the atmosphere. This... I dunno about this. A lush, green photograph of trees? Looks like a picture you would see on the label of a bottle of water... they could call it the 'Spring Quencher'!

As far as the music goes, I guess I would call Belus very similar to Burzum's '96 release, 'Filosofem', mainly because of the production: tinny, hissing guitars, low bass, scratchy vocals... the only major difference is the drums are much more audible... though that isn't saying much. Simply put, the guitars dominate everything, and that's clear from the start. The atmosphere of Belus is what I'd describe as being sleepy, monotone... but with intention. Sure, the album lacks agression, but then again, Varg asserted before the release of Belus that his fans should not expect to hear agressive intensity. This sleepy atmosphere took a LOT of getting used to though. If you've ever heard an album called 'Forgotten Legends' by a band called Drudkh, then you'll know what I mean. This album does vary and have more range than Forgotten Legends, but it does strike the same droning tone. Remember, I heard Belus right when it was released, didn't like it, and now, seven months later, although I'm not in love with it, I can see what Varg was trying to do. Concerning the vocals, I guess I was really anticipating the trademark wails and screams of Varg Vikernes: the dark, foreboding, torturous noises he can make really added a lot of passion and energy to an album... one you got used to them. I heard from quite a few Burzum fans that they too were dissapointed with the retreading of the Filosofem vocals, but I can think of two big reasons that Varg didn't use the regular approach. For one thing, the last time Varg recorded those types of vocals was back in 1992, during the recording of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, when Varg was just nineteen. He's a thirty-seven year old man now, and his vocals probably ain't what they used to be. Also, this album has a sort of droning, medetative pace to it. It uses monotony as an intended atmosphere, and his softer growl and tremolo picked guitars have a sort of soft, blanketed feel. If Varg had been doing his regular wailing his head off, it would have been harder to sustain the soft, sleepy feeling he was trying to portray. Aside from those Filosofem-esque growls, we also get a bigger taste of Varg's soft, casually sung voice, especially in the song 'Kaimadalthas' Nedstigning', which has more singing than growling.

Belus starts with the closest thing that you'll get to 'synth' in this album: the sound of someone turning an empty can of spray-paint upside down over and over again. Kind of annoying... What it's doing on this album, God knows. It's dissapointing too, because I thought that Burzum's strong point in the albums 'Filosofem' and 'Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' was the use of keyboards to eccentuate (never dominate) the music. Not to mention the odd keyboard driven instrumentals (songs like 'Han Som Rieste' and 'Tomhet') are sorely missed. That makes this Burzum's first album that is completely devoid of keyboards... and how does that fair out? Well... not good. It's not necessarily terrible; in fact it's far from it. It just strips this album of a lot of its potential range.

Another problem a lot of people complain about when referring to Belus is the fact that the riffs are repeated ad-infinitum throughout each song. There's usually an A-B-A-B-A-B-C-A-C-A-C kind of pattern going, although of course that's only in general. The thing that needs attention are the subtleties. There are little subtle changes in the patterns; whether it's a drumming alteration, or the tempo is tweaked a little, or the guitar riffs start differing slightly, and once you start to pick them out (which takes some concentration in the music) it should become easier to sit through the album, and even make the album enjoyable.

In the end, Belus is not a bad album. It's a good album, sure, but for Burzum it is very sub-standard and a little dissapointing. It goes on for longer than it should, and sometimes the repetition of the riffs doesn't feel justified... But mostly, it just isn't very definitive for Burzum, let alone black metal. Every other black metal Burzum album is great to me, and helped define black metal in some way at the time of its release. The self-titled debut set down the black metal style of drumming and tremolo-picked guitar work, Det Som Engang Var set the slower, darker pace with dark interludes, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss set the less-than-eight track listing of drawn out, atmospheric soundscapes and contemplative songwriting, Filosofem established the minimalistic era, with a lot of long ambient stretches and intentionally bad production, and you couldn't find any other album like it at the time of release. For Belus, it just isn't that unique. Wolves in the Throne Room and early Drudkh come to mind when listening to this. I guess that's what hurts this album the most. And referring again to the album art, I still don't like it at all. I tried to come up with a good mental picture that would work with the music from the album and what I got was the image of a crow flying over mountains and forests, eclipsing the sun. Anyway, if you're a fan of Wolves in the Throne Room sort of stuff, you'll really appreciate this album. If you're looking for Varg's masterpiece, if you're a big Burzum fan looking for a great, innovative and daring new album, or a very heavy EXTREME album, you are going to be dissapointed. I don't think Varg's mentality for the album had to do with being HARSH N BROOTAL YO. I think he was going for a sleepier, more melancholy feel, and the production reflects that. All in all, Varg made an album that acheived the atmosphere he wanted. The fuzz in this album relaxes you. Trust? in Varg's fuzz.

Most importantly, give it time to grow on you.

====

Songs I would recommend to get a feel for the album would be Keliohesten and Glemselens Elv. Glemselens Elv, is a long, winding track that hits the eleven minute mark, and is defenitely one of the more atmospheric tracks here. There's also a lot of technical guitarwork in it, too. Keliohesten is a shorter song, more agressive than Glemselens Elv, and packs a punch. It sounds like something that could have been of Burzum's debut, outside of the fact that there is really no climax or finale to the song.

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InfinityZero - 16 Octubre 2010: About the album art, it is completely subjective and so it's hard to nail down an opinion that people will share. As for the rest of it... I don't care that it isn't black metal. I didn't once say in my review that it wasn't black enough for me. I did compare it to Filosofem, though. My point is that black metal or not, it could have been better. Anyway, thanks for commenting on the review
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Crónica @ Satanicarchangel

13 Mayo 2014

Yawn

Is Varg even trying anymore? Look, I understand the fact that Belus was never meant to be the most energetic, high octane release of all time but I really can’t justify just how oppressively still this music is. I love Burzum’s earliest release, but Belus seems to discard all of the elements that made his past works so great in favor of very long and droning songs that go absolutely nowhere.

Atmosphere has and always will be (at least to me) the most important aspect of black metal. Burzum’s previous albums were some of the most atmospheric pieces of music my ears have heard and thus resulted in albums that could only be aptly described as masterpieces. However, Belus explores atmosphere in a different direction. The music has been drawn out a lot more, there’s far less memorable riffs and a whole lot of repetition. It seems that Varg was moving in a more modern take of atmospheric black metal, one with heavy repetition and minimalistic compositions. But alas, Varg is not Wolves in the Throne Room and his attempts at droning black metal leave a lot to be desired. Previous attempts at long, droning hymns worked wonders for Varg, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Filosofem were absolutely incredibly albums that worked well with their minimalistic nature. Belus unfortunately goes absolutely nowhere and spends a whole lot of time getting there. Songs are both meandering yet ridiculously still (yes that can happen.) There are really no solid ideas on Belus, yet Varg spends a heck of a lot of time exploring each simple, trivial element.

Belus is just really languid, almost unbearably so. After the album has finished I’m left scratching my head trying to remember a single riff, or any of the music for that matter. The whole album just passes me by without leaving much of an impression, and I can safely say this is the most boring album of Varg’s I've heard. There’s no real desire to harken back to his heydays, I respect that Varg wants to explore new grounds, but really, Belus is as far removed from early Burzum as one can get. Gone are the powerful battle cries of yore, gone are the effective use of cheesy ambient synthesizers, gone are the riffs that elicited an atmosphere of somber darkness. Heck, this album has none of the elements that made Burzum so great in the first place, and for that reason alone I recommend you skip it.

However, as a comeback album of sorts, one half of me can appreciate what Varg was going for. He wants to leave his black metal past behind and Belus follows a natural evolution of his musical preferences. There’s still plenty of black metal here but not in the traditional sense. It seems that Varg was far more interested in exploring the atmosphere and emotion created from music rather than how it actually sounds, or how it fits into a black metal base plate. The album as a whole sounds rather somber, atmospherically it’s okay, it’s nothing special but there’s a lot of worse stuff out here. Some of the twinkling guitar lines work well and at times, the droning, apathetic direction can occasionally succeed.

There’s certainly an atmosphere, one that’s very dreary and dismal, but they’re pretty low down on the emotional hierarchy in terms of intensity. Yes, it’s atmospheric, but it’s not really interesting. The somber, dreary atmosphere never lets up for the whole album, and whilst some might see this as a plus, I for one need something a little more intense in terms of emotive expression. The vocals don’t help matters easy, with Varg sounding really tired, worn out and willing to collapse at any moment.

In the past, Varg was able to transport me to another realm, whilst here he just leaves me bored and uninterested. The flight is listenable but wholly directionless, the music retains an atmosphere of such dreariness that it borders on the apathetic. At moments, Varg attempts to add life into the music with a couple of more up tempo passages that appear through the album. However, these sections are quickly counteracted by really long and droning music that just doesn't go anywhere. However, this is not a bad album, just average and there’s nothing in the music to get either excited or upset about. It’s just there.

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