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4.8 out of 5 stars
19
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 August 2011
This version is in a jewel case with the original cover artwork on the booklet, presented in a cardboard slipcase that has the image shown by amazon. The sound quality is excellent. It is slightly crisper than the original which brings certain elements more to the front, such as the horn sound on the long intro to the first track.

There is also a brief (new) note by Varg about the release and the Norwegian lyrics are reporduced, with the rest of the writing in English this time. Some of the original notes and artwork are missing or not as good as on the original release and the German translation of the lyrics is also missing.

Thus my feelings about this release are ambivalent, but I couldn't bring myself to give it less than 5 stars because the music is what really counts. The nearly 15 minute long opening track 'Det Som En Gang Var' is still one of the best and most atmospheric black metal songs ever recorded and never feels like its true length; even if the rest of the tracks, whilst good, pale in comparison.

A note about the re-releases in general: the cleaned up production loses a little bit of the original atmosphere but adds some clarity and a bit more force. It is hard to choose which version I prefer for most releases except "Filosfem" where the cleaner production somehow completely ruins he atmosphere of the album, and I find the re-release unlistenable! However, the new version of "Burzum/Aske" is well worth buying for the inclusion of the Aske version of "A lost forgotten sad Spirit" and the informative notes on the involvements of Euronymous and Samoth.
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on 28 July 2011
This album surpasses all metal and has not been matched since. Four lengthy songs in a symphonic ambient black metal style takes metal to its highest point in evolution and beyond.

This one-man band orchestrates with a thematic narrative that puts the listener into a dreamlike state. Simple riffs are layered to create epic structures and are ambient in tone resulting in a range of moods while maintaining a trancelike effect. Shifting harmonies throughout these themes creates a journey of intense emotion and heavy realizations. Each track varies in speed and style but are all strongly connected like a classical movement. Ideological impact is the key to this albums power as songs drive forth with outstanding passion and sincerity. The subtlety is so deep that each listen will evoke feelings of wonder and majesty no matter how many times visited. It is an epic poetic story that is mystical yet symbolic to reality - it literally awakens your soul with a vision of eternal order through chaos. The album ends with an ambient keyboard track that is minimal and allows heavy reflection and resolution after the severe intensity and whirlwind of emotion from the first three tracks.

The result is an experience like no other album of modern times. Its power is immense and makes us contemplate the deepest questions of our very existence. In the age of our moribund civilisation this album is the ultimate warcry against the stupidity of the modern world.
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on 9 January 2004
As stated in the title, this is Varg's masterpiece mainly due to the minimalist theme which is prevalent through out. What could so easily have become tedious or boring if attempted by 'lesser' people is an album of true vision and at the time in total contrast to what people's perception of 'black metal' was. Varg achieves soundscapes of both raw and primitive 'evil' and yet evocative and truly transcendal passages of music. The intro to the 14 minute title track before the first riff is heard is evidence of this, haunting in its slowly moving an evolving sounds, and yet strikingly simple and 'dreamy'. Repetition of riffs seeks to continually enhance and build an atmosphere, not because Varg is incapcable of progressing songs, but because of an understanding of aesthetics. The following two tracks while also utilising minimalist techniques and being respectively good songs in their own right, ultimately pale when stood against the magnitude and scope of the first song. The 10 minute keyboard track 'Tomhet' which rounds up the album leaves me in a state of ambiguity as to whether it is music, or a lesson in constructing passages of minimalism for the sake of it. Either way, this album represents a true black metal classic of undeniable genius. Whether you love or hate him, worship him or want to kill him, Varg's music remains thus = Essential listening.
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on 1 November 2007
This is clearly a contender for one of the best black metal albums ever put to record. The album only consists of four tracks which act more like movements in a classical piece of music rather than actual songs. Keyboards are put to greater use here to add layers of atmosphere. The result of having so few tracks is that there are no weak moments; each one stretches out for eternity and takes the listener on a journey to the time which modernity forgot. Varg's trade mark screech, although making an appearance, is used sparingly, preferring to let the music be the focus of the album. Production is perfect here as well, the drums blend well into the background to provide added texture and although the sound is warm, the guitars are harsh enough, and the playing competent enough to transcend the studio environment; they have a sharp cold element to them which the keyboards are able to build upon with more layers of atmosphere. The closing track is a 14 minute synth piece entitled "Tomhet" which stretches out across time and space and is a perfect way to close the timeless feel of this record.

This is an album designed to grab the listener's full attention; it is an album to be listened sparingly, on special occasions. The first few notes on the opener "Det Som En Gang Var" set the mood perfectly and send a clear message to the listener that they are listening to something seminal, and demands one's full attention. Not only does the music invoke this mood of an ancient spirituality, but the artwork courtesy of Norwegian artist Theodor Kitteslen, sums up the album perfectly. An ancient time, haunted by spirits, by plague, a time where humans were far from masters of the world, nature was respected and feared, where such trivial matters as morality did not exist, all that exists was the will, the instinct of survival. This release has also become a statement against Mayhem and the out and out brutality that composer Euronymous pursued. It has become an illustration of how black metal is not a quest for brutality, rather it uses brutality as a means of exploring some higher philosophical meaning, and that meaning has always centred around a rejection of modern values and an exploration of the past to find meaning. This album has its fair share of brutality, but it has more than that, it has an atmosphere that supervenes the brutal elements. Like Beethoven the playing is often not technical, and the riffs are often simple, but the moods explored are incredibly complex. It remains a shame therefore, that many black metal acts to follow took their cues from Mayhem and sought brutality and evil rather than seeking a deeper philosophical meaning in their compositions. That aside, this album represents the peak of black metal and should be purchased by anyone who claims to be a fan of this infamous music, it has dared to wonder what lies beyond good and evil, and it dares all who listen to it to do the same.
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on 14 February 2014
In my opinion this album is a black metal masterpiece!
Listening to this consumes all thought and focuses all attention onto the dark. the first three tracks are amoung my favorite black metal tracks that I have ever had the pleaseure to hear.

One aspect of this album worthy of note is the very impressive fact that Burzum is a one man project and therefore (varg) plays all instruments and does all vocals (when I say vocals i refer to the symbolic tortuered screams - which are not for the faint of heart)

This album is a cornerstone in my black metal catalogue and i would recommend it to anyone with an interset in extreme music.
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on 7 March 2013
I don't see Burzum as, (hang on before you start shouting obscenities) black metal, for me Varg's music is more folk than anything else, amazingly cold, atmospheric, sometimes disturbing, but folk none the less. Varg is all about the traditional culture, religion and community of his country and his music echoes this view. Hvis Lyset Tar Oss is stunning, don't mess about, buy it and listen to it immediately!
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on 28 July 2011
This album surpasses all metal and has not been matched since. Four lengthy songs in a symphonic ambient black metal style takes metal to its highest point in evolution and beyond.

This one-man band orchestrates with a thematic narrative that puts the listener into a dreamlike state. Simple riffs are layered to create epic structures and are ambient in tone resulting in a range of moods while maintaining a trancelike effect. Shifting harmonies throughout these themes creates a journey of intense emotion and heavy realizations. Each track varies in speed and style but are all strongly connected like a classical movement. Ideological impact is the key to this albums power as songs drive forth with outstanding passion and sincerity. The subtlety is so deep that each listen will evoke feelings of wonder and majesty no matter how many times visited. It is an epic poetic story that is mystical yet symbolic to reality - it literally awakens your soul with a vision of eternal order through chaos. The album ends with an ambient keyboard track that is minimal and allows heavy reflection and resolution after the severe intensity and whirlwind of emotion from the first three tracks.

The result is an experience like no other album of modern times. Its power is immense and makes us contemplate the deepest questions of our very existence. In the age of our moribund civilisation this album is the ultimate warcry against the stupidity of the modern world.
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on 24 July 2011
This album surpasses all metal and has not been matched since. Four lengthy songs in a symphonic ambient black metal style takes metal to its highest point in evolution and beyond.

This one-man band orchestrates with a thematic narrative that puts the listener into a dreamlike state. Simple riffs are layered to create epic structures and are ambient in tone resulting in a range of moods while maintaining a trancelike effect. Shifting harmonies throughout these themes creates a journey of intense emotion and heavy realizations. Each track varies in speed and style but are all strongly connected like a classical movement. Ideological impact is the key to this albums power as songs drive forth with outstanding passion and sincerity. The subtlety is so deep that each listen will evoke feelings of wonder and majesty no matter how many times visited. It is an epic poetic story that is mystical yet symbolic to reality - it literally awakens your soul with a vision of eternal order through chaos. The album ends with an ambient keyboard track that is minimal and allows heavy reflection and resolution after the severe intensity and whirlwind of emotion from the first three tracks.

The result is an experience like no other album of modern times. Its power is immense and makes us contemplate the deepest questions of our very existence. In the age of our moribund civilisation this album is the ultimate warcry against the stupidity of the modern world.
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on 7 December 2009
`Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' is the third coming from Black Metal's prodigal son, Varg Vikernes. Gradually, as time has gone by, Varg and with it Burzum has evolved into what we see on this record. A dark undertow surrounds the soundscapes of the band giving this record in particular a fairly mystical nature. The majority of the content on this record plays out it's themes using simplistic ambient tones produced by keyboards and highly distorted guitars with Varg's unmistakable screams of anguish, hatred and pain. As well as every other negative connotation one can muster. This record speaks volumes about it's era and the content itself. The very fact that, even by today's standards, this record has been and will be regarded forevermore as one of the best and most influential black metal full-lengths of all time. Even as the genre, with it's many sub-genres, continues to stride forward and evolve in it's pursuit to blacken our world, `Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' will provide newcomers and old timers the ride of their lives to this day.

A highly emotive journey through the depths of the human mind, body and soul is the attempted aim of this record and it is achieved to such high standards. This is an extremely ambient piece, focusing a lot of energies on producing entrancing atmospherics which are shown aptly in all the songs, not just one. `Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' is methodical and very melodic in it`s approach to black metal. Varg Vikernes, in when incarcerated, was known as a good composer of music, which shows in the assortment of ambient work driven forwards by the stunning keyboard work. Production is clear but unique with a slightly eerie twist. The sinister vibe that surrounds this mystical piece of music is one that still inspired to this very day. The ambient sound generated by the keyboards and the distorted guitars produces a distant feel to the music, as if you're gazing out upon something beautiful which is about to be destroyed. As stated previously, as each song plays out to it's close, you're left with the feeling that Varg has created a very dark, sad and angry masterpiece. One can only hope this is merely the beginning of what this highly esteemed musician and composer can produce, one hopes that there is more to come in the future of this nature which, he has said in recent interviews, might be the case.

The record itself consists of four hate-filled tracks which have been covered again and again by those influenced by this highly talented man. As time ticks by, the listener becomes aware of how important atmosphere is to this release. Atmosphere, in general when it comes to black metal is everything. Varg's use of keyboards become extremely important throughout. The glorious nature of the soundscapes, which often aims to inebriate the listener with influential textures and tones, particularly on the lead guitar and whilst this isn`t considered the darkest record by the infamous Norwegian act, it should be considered the best. The keyboards create ambience which, even with it's own simplicity, is divine and melodic. Varg proves to the masses that simplicity can be as effective, if not more so, than overblown and complex music. However simplistic `Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' may come across as, the complexities that dwell deep within the emotional content of this record overshadows the very fact that expansive duelling guitars, prominent bass and even explosively dynamic percussion sections won't often come into play when listening to the material that Burzum creates. This is however, as stated, emotionally complex. The intensity of not only the instrumentation, but Varg's typically rasping vocals don't allow for anything other than enjoyment when it comes to `Hvis Lyset Tar Oss'. One cannot explain how dark and emotional this record is, it can only be discovered through listening.
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on 12 May 2014
After starting with the likes of Fen, Esoteric and Wodensthrone I thought I would try something from this formative era of black metal. This has everything that is great about more contemporary artists but is more raw and yet still exquisitely composed. Sonorous synths overlaid onto ragged drums and churning, fuzzy riffs. Bursting with melancholic passion. An antidote to the pinpoint production of more modern artists.
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