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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 1 February 2000
Those who know anything about the Black Metal world (and I speak of the genre in it's True form, as opposed to the watered-down, comercialised bands that proliferate the scene today) are divided into two groups: those that accept Burzum as one of the finest artists in the business; and those that disowned him after he was found guilty of the murder of the scene's founder, Mayhem's Oystein Aarseth. The initiated will most likely have already formed an opinion, and will not be persuaded to change it by what they read here. However, those new to the scene, or who have yet to pass judgement, should know that Varg Vikernes - the man behind Burzum; is not simply a right-wing extremist, arsonist and murderer; but produces (perhaps because of the afore mentioned personality traits; certainly in spite of them) what is undoubtedly *the* Blackest Metal available at the beginning of the new millenium. One of the scene's founders, his beliefs are unquestionably sincere; and his music uncomprimisingly dark, evil, aggressive and at the same time beautiful - in other words it bears every characteristic music of it's kind is noteworthy for. Vocals more akin to the death-shrieks of dying swine are issued forth at the heavens; communicating lyrics describing the paths trodden by cosmic visionaries or nameless beasts of folklore. Harsh guitar sound accompanies thunderous drumming to weave a malestrum of violent, etherial wonder about the listener; and whilst this - the first Burzum album - is devoid of keyboard accompaniment (though not of the odd notable keyboard instrumental track), it remains no less misterious than later offerings; yet no less extreme than Dark Throne. All in all this album is one to hear, and should appeal to fans of everything from Slayer to Emperor; remaining an excellent starting point for Black Metal novices. Any and all into the dark side of music should give this album a spin - there is nothing darker than this save the majesty of the nightsky itself.
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on 11 June 2012
5 stars because the music is excellent and this release is well worth buying.

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.

There is also a brief (new) note by Varg about the release and the original lyrics are reproduced. The "Aske" image of the church is relegated from the CD itself to small and partly obscured picture on the back of the booklet. The German translation of the lyrics are also missing.

The slighlty cleaned up production loses a little bit of the original atmosphere but adds some clarity and a bit more force. It is hard to decide which version I prefer. However, this new version is well worth buying because for the first time it includes the original Aske version of "A lost forgotten sad Spirit" and also has some informative notes regarding the involvements of Euronymous and Samoth.
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on 26 July 2010
I will spare the reader of an in-depth review of the music on this LP, as this has been sufficiently done already on amazon, on the CD version of the combined, self titled debut the 'Burzum' album (1992), along with the 'Aske' mini EP (1993) that accompanies it. What I am concerned about with this review is the format the music is presented in, which is vinyl.

The debut `Burzum' album, when it originally was released in 1992, was essentially designed for vinyl format. Varg Vikernes (the mastermind behind Burzum) intended for the first half of the music (first side of vinyl), to be `Side Hate' and the second side of music`Side Winter'. HOWEVER, with this 2 disc Burzum/Aske vinyl reissue, I presumed before I purchased the double LP, that the first disc would only just contain the `Burzum album' and the second vinyl would contain only the `Aske' EP. But I was wrong. On this reissue the record company seems to have amalgamated the two different albums into the two vinyl, for example where the last track, on the second side of the `Burzum album', on the original release, was `Dungeons of Darkness', now the last track on the first vinyl is `The Crying Orc', where the latter should have been the second track on the second side of the original release of the `Burzum album'. This may sound all a bit irate and fussy to some, but I suppose I am a purist who believes in the original format that the artist first intended the record to be like.

Also another important issue to point out is that the album art (the front cover of the record, with the dark hooded figure in a desolate landscape) seems to be out of focus, with little sharpness at all, proving to be moderately blurry. Let me assure you that my eyesight is perfectly good; I do not own or need a pair of spectacles to enhance my vision.
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on 11 April 2006
Although I loathe the views expressed by Varg Vikernes, and regard the whole "corpsepaint in woods" thing as stupidity, it doesn't stop me liking the albums. Just don't buy this expecting a full on metal onslaught, it's a very hypnotic album. The best track by far is "Ea, Lord of the Depths".
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on 6 February 2005
Burzum is generally known to be one of the most extreme black metal bands around, and this album does not fail to live up to this expectation. The vocals bear very little resemblance to a human voice and generally sound much more like the dying screams of a demon. This does mean that if you are unused to black metal this album is pretty heavy going. On the other hand, the drumming and guitars are fantastic throughout, especially on "Ea Lord of the Depths", "Feeble screams from forests unknown" and the Bathory-esque "War". The lyrics are fairly standard black metal lyrics, which are not particularly interesting, but fit in with the atmosphere of the album quite well. Although Vikernes undoubtedy has fairly dubious morals (mainly refering to his murder of Mayhem's Euronymous) he is very talented and this album proves that he is more than capable of playing drums, guitar and bass as well as providing the vocals, with very little trouble. This album surpasses any of his later material. Mainly because his later material was mostly produced from prison. This is "true" black metal in its rawest and most extreme format, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their metal black.
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on 4 August 2004
A flower in a desolate wilderness, Burzum stands head shoulders and torso above all other black metal material.
Eschewing the formulaic absurdity of the genre's usual themes Burzum represents raw emotion and power.
Not everyone's cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination. The vocals are amongst the most terrifying and intimadating commited to tape ever. Some of the lyrics, if you are able to make them out in the first place, are in his native tounge.
However for any fan of any kind of extreme music this is a must. Awesomely powerful and atmospheric guitar riffs compete with magestrial arraingements and playing. The fact this is the work of one man is scary and impressive.
His insanity, racism and egotism aside, Grishnack/Vikerns emains one of the more interesting metal songwriters of the early 90s.
Worth hearing, if only once.
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on 14 October 2006
Although this album is good, it cannot match up to the classic 'Det Som Engang Var' and all other albums!

Though for a fan, you should buy it, as it has good songs. Though 'War' is very over-rated!

Buy if your a keen fan of Burzum. But Buy the one of the others, if your new to Burzum. Though remember each Burzum album is quite different!
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on 17 May 2012
The beginning of the only Norwegian band that still matters. A decent attempt at what Burzum later became but I can`t help but feel the songs are really weak. Due mostly to the production. The songs sound empty and in the end become somewhat annoying. A must for Burzum fans. That`s about all though.
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on 20 April 2007
It is difficult to write a review of an album like this unless you were around at the time, and understood things as they were in those days. Varg, for all his faults, is honest and full of conviction in these songs, and if he hadn't believed in this music enough to get it released ( a one man band in those days with analogue equipment when home computers were lucky to have 1mb of memory? ), then perhaps metal wouldn't have existed as it does today.

The songs are mostly long, repetitive, and the sound is clear and lonely.

It is apparent that Varg, like any artist, is still developing his style at this stage, as in the corny thrash riffs of 'War', yet the majority of the songs are superb and within them one can see how Burzum is growing. In these songs the vocals are unfashionably sincere, which should be unsettling enough for most people.

By the time he had recorded Det Som Engang Var, Varg had really cracked it.
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on 16 April 2007
Okay, time to set the record straight on this, erm, "classic" piece of heavy rock. Most of you reading this are well aware by now of Burzum frontman Varg's extreme political leanings and that he murdered fellow rocker-in-arms Euronymous (of Danish hellraisers Mayhem) over a disagreement about a sandwich.I bought this album in the antipation of rocking out to BIG HOOK LADEN RIFFS and FIST PUMPING CHORUSES but instead I was greeted with what an I can only describe as a lonely, evil man having a nervous breakdown while aimlessly thrashing away on a toy guitar thats plugged into a tin pot amplifier. On top of all this Varg's throaty screams are simply annoying when they should be impassioned (see: Bruce Dickinson, Chester Bennington, the dude from Stiltskin) and sadly they dominate the low-rent production.It's fair to say the 'Black Rock' scene is rather popular with many teenage rock nerds and I'm sure my views will be dismissed by the heavy metal hordes who adore this kind of amatuer nonsense, but I'm just calling it as I see it, guys. Iron Maiden et al would be spinning in their graves if they knew heavy rock would come to this! If this record does have a saving grace it's the lovely casio keyboard ambient tracks which gives the record a much needed injection of pop zest. These tracks aside I suggest the uninitiated approach with caution.
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