BURZUM — Hvis Lyset Tar Oss (review)

BURZUM — Hvis Lyset Tar Oss album cover Album · 1994 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Warthur
In retrospect, it's lucky for Varg Vikernes that he had such an incredible burst of creativity in early 1992 - recording this album, the previous two Burzum albums, and the Aske EP in the space of about eight or nine months. If he hadn't produced such a large amount of quality material in such a short time, Burzum's pre-jail output would have been much sparser.

That said, this first Burzum album to be released during Varg's incarceration for the murder of Euronymous (but remember, it was recorded before all that grim business happened) is strong enough and shows enough musical growth to suggest that if Varg had just knuckled down and worked on his craft rather than murdering bandmates, burning churches, or rotting his mind with absurd far-right politics, he might have eventually produced something which makes his infamy-inflated level of name recognition actually justified. Hvis Lyset Tar Oss represents the culmination of all the musical experimentation of Burzum's previous output - three epic black metal drones of sheer unmitigated depression, plus a closing ambient piece which was easily the most polished of Varg's dark electronic experimentations to date.

Those who cannot abide racist lyrics will be pleased to know that there's no such rants here - Varg's shrieks are mainly about how miserable and angry he is at the world in general, without delving into the sort of NSBM-like Jew-baiting he tends to reserve for interviews - whilst the compositions and performance were more polished than on previous releases.

At points, the wailing, buzzing guitars put me in mind of the walls of sound produced by shoegaze bands of the era such as My Bloody Valentine, so there's a mild precedent for the current trend for combining black metal and shoegaze here - and indeed the album also provides precedents for more or less all of the "depressive" black metal out there, plus the sort of dark medievalist synthesiser experiments tinkered with by the likes of Mortiis.

Had Varg not done the things he'd done, if he didn't have the tendency to say the sort of repugnant things he has said (and, regularly, still says), he'd be one of the most beloved treasures of the metal scene. As it is, whilst I'd prefer to keep Varg the man at arm's length, I'd say Burzum the musical project is still an interesting release, but at the same time people have taken the seeds here and developed them further without the same baggage weighing things down.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
Doomster wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Absolutely amazing.
more than 2 years ago
One of the few (like 2) "traditional" black metal albums I truly enjoy.
J-Man wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Couldn't agree more - one of my favorites as well.

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
BLACK SABBATH
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock
LED ZEPPELIN
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Abysse Mortifère Death Metal
OUTRE-TOMBE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Anomalias Del Tiempo Metalcore
CHRONOLINE
Buy this album from MMA partners
To Decay In A Deathless World Metalcore
GOD COMPLEX
Buy this album from MMA partners
Nurture Technical Death Metal
DEVIANT PROCESS
Buy this album from MMA partners
God Ends Here Death Metal
AEON
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

BEEHOOVER - ARMY OF GOOD EVIL
BEEHOOVER
Tupan· 7 hours ago
Chronoline - El Despertar
CHRONOLINE
Bosh66· 9 hours ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us