BURZUM — Hvis Lyset Tar Oss (review)

BURZUM — Hvis Lyset Tar Oss album cover Album · 1994 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Phonebook Eater
10/10

"Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" is one of Metal's pinnacles, a landmark achievement that gives Black Metal an ideal model of an album.

A year after “Det Som Engang Var”, Burzum returns, with the ultimate Black Metal masterpiece, “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss”, the model and paradigm of the genre’s albums. Everything about BM is in these four tracks, that cover only 45 minutes of time, which pass by quite quickly. But HLTO leaves a permanent stain in one’s heart that will never leave him.

Burzum has always been one that preferred atmosphere over melodies and riffs: when it comes to these elements, he doesn’t put too much effort in the songwriting, all four tracks have simple hooks that immediately stick with the listener. Instead, with the addition of the keyboards that accompany the buzzing guitars and tortured-like shrieks, Burzum creates an extremely unique, scary, yet haunting atmosphere, and keeps this atmosphere constant throughout the entire album. The production is always lo-fi (Vikernes bought the cheapest recording equipment in order to obtain the worst quality possible), giving the atmosphere a more foggy, gloomy and necrophilic touch.

The album starts off with easily the best Burzum song He’s released; “Det Som En Gang Var”, a fourteen minute epic piece that mixes repetitive guitar riffs, accompanied by icy, mysterious keyboards. The song unfolds it’s few hooks only just before the end of the song, all of them being so stretched out in monotony. Burzum’s vocals are once again rough, a perfect addition to the arcane atmosphere. The title track is much more guitar driven: it’s the song where repetition is the strongest factor, because the main, extremely simple riff never changes much except for some variations occurring. Because of it’s atmosphere, it just never gets boring, one of Burzum’s magic tricks. The third track is even better; more hypnotic, it has as a whole much more variation, almost like it was divided in parts, like the opening track. “Tohmet” is the fourteen minute ambient piece that closes the album, as a sort of relaxer after all of the aggressiveness. Some moments on the track are simply beautiful and some even remind of New Age music.

Say anything you want regarding the persona of Varg Vikernes, and there’s no need to mention all the things he is and the things he did, because they have nothing to do with the music. “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss” is an album-model for many albums later on, a piece of work that redefines the concept of the Black Metal and gives it a twist that makes it an even more intriguing genre. Thank you, Burzum.
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more than 2 years ago
thanks Jeff!
J-Man wrote:
more than 2 years ago
YES this is one of the best black metal albums ever! Great review, too! :-)

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