After reading Varg Vikernes' politically incorrect, to say the least, thoughts about metal music during his imprisonment, I and many people with me were pretty shocked when he announced that he was going to release a new black metal record with Burzum. This comeback album, Belus, which was released last year, surpassed all my expectations. It suffered from a pretty dull production but in my opinion it was actually one of the most creative and, so to say, mature black metal albums released in a very long time.
The follow-up album, Fallen, is now being released almost exactly one year later and, though somewhat reserved, my expectations were high. My first impressions were mixed, however, but first things first. The production is a little clearer than on Belus and the drum sound is a lot more enjoyable, which definitely is a plus. Also, Varg uses a lot more clean vocals than ever before which has its positive and its negative sides.
One negative side to be more specific - the first song, Jeg Faller, which might actually be the worst Burzum song I've ever heard. It starts off promising with a great riff and some really good bass playing but the clean chorus is just horrible, sounding like something from a "difficult" pop song. At this point I was really afraid of listening to the rest of the album but as luck would have it; the remaining songs do a good job in redeeming the questionable start.
It's interesting to go from the worst Burzum song ever to two of the best ever, which I actually believe is the case here. Both Valen and Vanvidd are great black metal songs with that wonderful Burzum twist. Furthermore, halfway through Vanvidd Varg lets loose a nightmarish scream which almost takes me back to the opening track on Hvis Lyset Tar Oss. That alone makes up for the initial shortcomings on the album.
The two last songs, Enhver Til Sitt and Budstikken, continue in the same spirit and my only complaint would be that they are almost too much in the same spirit - I would have loved to get my ass kicked by a brutal, fast song at the end. But that's just nitpicking. The closing track is a six-minute long, instrumental experiment consisting of a slow drum rhythm and a strange string instrument. It's not really a bad song; then again it's not much of a song.
The intro and outro tracks are perhaps more strange than good and I will never get over my hate for Jeg Faller but apart from that, Fallen is a really good record and it feels like a natural sequel to Belus. The production is fitting and there are some really, really strong songs here which show that Varg still is one of the most creative musicians in the entire metal scene.
also review of: Umskiptar