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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
13
4.3 out of 5 stars
Filosofem
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Price:£6.59


on 20 July 2017
The thing about Filosofem is that it shows both some of Varg's best work and some of his most pedestrian. The first half is sublime; timeless songs like "jesu dod" and "dunkelheit" stand proud with riffs both evocative and malevolent, as well as catchy as all hell. The lo-fi rawness of the production adds to rather than subtracts from the music, with everything converging into one mesmerizing wave of sound that envelopes you in Varg's gentle, pagan, prone-to-repeated-stabs-to-the-back arms. It's a great example of how a primitive production can be of benefit to the music, especially when the relatively sparse musical motifs on display are so infectious. A certain strain of metalhead may scorn anything with the faintest hint of commercial viability, and certainly I'd never suggest that black metal was ever played with the intention of raking in the cash (Varg himself states that this album was in part an attempt to distance himself and his music from "trendy" black metal), but at the same time, many of these riffs are highly memorable and will have you humming along as well as headbanging…

At least until the halfway point. I'll freely concede that this is a good album, and one I enjoyed very much, but is there anyone who listens to this album specifically for the 25 minute "Rundtgåing av den transcendentale egenhetens støtte"? A tedious, testicle-free ambient track in which Varg's cat accidentally walks all over the keyboard whilst he was off getting some biscuits or something. Or Decreptitude 2, featuring riffs done in an earlier track (decreptitude 1) mixed in with more mundane plonking on a keyboard. These last 2 tracks add so little to the album but make up nearly half of its whole runtime...classic status or not, I can't give a resounding endorsement to an album when I have to skip half of it to prevent my brain imploding from sheer boredom.

Still, this album is worth the money. The first few tracks provide an albums worth of excellent black metal that transcends it's startlingly generic second half. That first half provides a masterwork of eerie soundscapes that will carve their way into your brain, and it's hard to speak highly enough of it. Just a shame about the rest of the album, really.
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on 24 January 2010
'Filosofem' seems always to have been the most popular Burzum release, and while lacking the utter perfection of 'Hvis Lyset Tar Oss' (see my review of that), it is still a fantastic piece of work, epic and full of anguish. The guitar sound is crisper and more defined than other Burzum releases, yet still has a beautiful coldness, all washing and swathe-like. Folk art by Theodor Kittelsen illustrates the sleeve, and while Kittelsen seems to be a favourite with Norwegian musicians from Wongraven to When, rarely has any music matched the atmosphere of his drawings as it does here.

"Suddenly, life has new meaning..." It's hard not to feel a chill down the spine as Varg sings that line...or during the entirety of 'Beholding the Daughters of the Firmament', where a poem by Tolkien is changed to mirror the dreadful cold of winter and ancient night. Yes, this is a quintessential Burzumic release...
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on 11 June 2012
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 has been cleaned up which unfortunately has not worked for this album. It grates and has none of the original atmosphere I loved this album for. (The othere re-releases have not suffered from this problem.)

There is also a brief (new) note by Varg about the release and the lyrics are reporduced. The original artwork as on all the re-releases is of lesser quality than on the original release (smaller and slighlty obscured).

Yes Filosofem is an amazing album and black metal classic but the cleaner production somehow completely ruins the atmosphere of the album, and I find the re-release unlistenable! Track down the original.
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on 8 September 2000
Vikernes actually topped "Hvis lyset tar oss" by creating this masterpiece. Minimalistic, monotone black metal art with a lot of misanthropic atmosphere.Great production, especially the vocals "suffer" like never before...
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on 7 July 2011
This is pure true Black Metal. Everything is perfect here: the raw unpolished sound, the distortion from that crappy cheap guitar, the depressive vocals, the artwork...everything. Even the "new age" 25 mins long minimalistic song is a must, perfect to listen to while taking a long walk in the deep frozen woods.
BUY IT.
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on 17 May 2012
The greatest black metal album. Each track is absolute perfection when it comes to ambience and painting landscapes in the mind. Nothing more to be said. Buy it.
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on 28 March 2016
Classic black metal album, need say no more.
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on 16 July 2010
When night falls life has new meaning...

There is not another album like this in the whole world, but be warned, it might take you places you don't want to go...maybe into the silence of a forest at night with a burning stave church at your back as you walk into exile from the rest of humanity...

Seriously though, this bridges the gap between ambient and metal. Did it need to be done? Well let me ask another question, do you need to eat brains?

Don't question, just lie back and listen...
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on 21 October 2016
Great black metal, hasn't lost anything in conversion to CD. Slipcase is a bit pointless.
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on 29 May 2014
very good seller, very good item
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