Burzum – Burzum (1992)

So I finally grew the fuck up and got this album. After years of holding out, hoping and praying for a shot at the original pressing from back in the day, I finally gave up on owning a piece of musical history. I can only justify so much for a record. It is, at the end of the day, historic or not, it’s just a piece of vinyl. I don’t like Burzum enough to justify spending hundreds on an original Deathlike Silence pressing. Back On Black’s repress in a lovely gatefold that includes the follow-up EP Aske (which is just as pricey in its original form) will do nicely, methinks. I still paid over the odds for it thanks to Plastic Head but it is a fancy package so I’m not too unhappy with how much I paid.

I’m not sure if Burzum is the black metal record; but it definitely encompasses what the original scene was trying to achieve. For me, personally, at least. Every time I suggest this around metalheads I seem to face mostly disagreement, but if there is anything that will satisfy my “black metal urges” it is this record (or something by early Darkthrone). It was made at such a place and time that wholly impacts upon its structure, delivery and the entire finished product. If Burzum was recorded at any other point in time, or even with a different producer at the studio, or through a different guitar amp, it would not be the same record. That might sound a bit obvious, but it is more than that; what Burzum reflects is an idea, a vision so strongly held in belief by its creator that it eventually led to arson and later to murder. To know through these terrible acts that there was 100% belief and conviction in this music, in this way of life, makes the listening all the more powerful and dark.

Not that I personally advocate the burning of churches or stabbing your friend and record label boss in the face. And I don’t sympathize with the views held by Burzum’s bat-shit insane creator Varg Vikernes either. But, I am all about the music here, not politics, so if Varg’s (possibly worrying) drive for Norwegian racial purity fuels him to continue creating such beautifully vicious and mood altering music, then so be it.