For my second album review, I’m doing Hliðskjálf
(damned if I know how to pronounce that) by Burzum
First off, I’ll say that even though this is Burzum
, it’s not at all what comes to mind when people think about the band. In other words, everything on Hliðskjálf
is done with a keyboard. It isn’t black metal by any stretch of the imagination, outside of the fact that some of the songs have a creepy feeling similar to the music from Filosofem
or Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
The overall sound of the music isn’t at all like the music from Burzum
’s other ambient album, Dauði Baldrs. All the things that were wrong with Dauði Baldrs have been reduced here. For one thing, the songs have more layers and variation, and flow more, making them feel much more open and free. They don’t have that same rigid feeling that Dauði Baldrs had. Best of all, the songs progress quicker, and have shorter running time to boot. I wouldn’t completely jump on the Burzum
bandwagon and say “Varg is an absolute musical genius,” because, while this does have a pretty strong atmosphere for me, it isn’t a masterwork, and I do feel that this album was an experimental thing; a way for Varg to pass the time in prison while keeping up with his interest in music. But while the problems from Dauði Baldrs are reduced, they are still present. There are songs on here (Tuistoz Herz for example) that could have been much better if there had been more variation and had been shorter, although the improved atmosphere in this album does somewhat make up for it.
, I’d say that if you want to sample a song or two from this album, the highlights for me are Frijôs Goldene Tränen and Der Tod
Wuotans. Frijôs Goldene Tränen is a pretty short song, clocking in at two minutes or so. Whenever I finish listening to the album, it’s the song that resonates with me the most, and I usually get a strong sensation of floating during the song. Der Tod
Wuotans is dragged on a little bit too long, but other than that it’s probably the most atmospheric song on here, especially if you're looking at the cool cover art while listening to it. There is one particular song that usually gets on my nerves for being much too repetitive, and that’s Ansuzgardaraiwô. It has a pretty cool intro, and then a louder synth pattern comes in, which also sounds good… until it’s repeated a million times. Not much atmosphere in the song, either.
So, all in all, this album definitely takes a while to get used to, but if you go in with an open mind, you’ll probably Warm up to it. But I do think that it could have definitely been better. Rating: 13/20