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Customer Review

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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4.6 out of 5 stars
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