Burzum – Det Som Engang Var (1993)

It was recently the 20th anniversary of this record so I pulled it off the shelf, dusted it off and give it a spin for good measure. I’m a good way into collecting a bunch of Burzum vinyl, and Det Som Engang Var has to be one of the best in his release history. I feel this album lives up to the whole “spell” thing that Varg originally intended with Burzum and it has a great variety of not just viciously lo-fi black metal, but a whole bunch of excellent atmospheric noise tracks, really bringing in those creepy keyboard sounds that would become so prominent on his later works.

 I love the opening track but the first black metal song, “Key To The Gate”, doesn’t rank that high for me. “En Ring Til A Herske” is absolute brilliance, as all of side B – opener “Han Som Reiste” is a fantastic, eery keyboard piece and “Snu Mikrokosmos Tegn” is an enormous black metal classic that will never be forgotten until the end of time itself.

This is – you guessed it – a Back on Black repressing, which explains it’s lovely shiny exterior. The cheap penciled artwork has never looked so good; and if you look carefully you can even see the little man and the tree from the first album down in the bottom by the gates; I never knew until I bought this that the artwork was something of an extension to that on Burzum. I guess you learn something everyday, eh?