Album Review: Burzum – Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan (2013)

Varg Vikernes needs black metal as much as black metal needs him.

B 1Had Euronymous been alive today, he would have had to acknowledge Varg Vikernes as the one true master of the black metal art. Every Burzum release is unlike anything else and effortlessly superior to everything else. “Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan” is closer to “Daudi Baldrs” than to “Hlidskjalf”, in the sense that it will require a black metal translation for the listener to register (and fully enjoy) the depths of the compositions. “Hlidskjalf” is a pristine work, while “Daudi Baldrs” sounds like a collection of cheap midi sounds (yes, it’s great, I agree) which we were compelled to revisit after it hit us that “Belus” is the greatest black metal album of all time. Varg’s rediscovery of his love for fiddling with his synth is interesting for some time, and the excitement of listening to the carefully placed layers starts to wear off after a point, but crazy about this one-man band as I am, my mind plays the black metal version of Burzum‘s electronic ambient album every time it starts to get boring. “Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan” is mostly medieval, and this mystical feel is more Grishnackh than Vikernes. There’s no doubt that the compositions here are excellent, but Varg Vikernes needs black metal as much as black metal needs him, and it will take a guitar, drums and bass for Count Grishnackh to punctuate these tunes to maximize their impact. Even hell knows how the man can transform a track as flat as Daudi Baldrs into a song as mesmerizing as Belus’ Dod. I understand perfectly well what Varg Vikernes has done here, and it might even go very well as the soundtrack of the movie he is making with his wife, but I will feel like coming back to “Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan” only when Burzum releases black metal versions of at least a couple of these melodies. And if he doesn’t, I will.

Black Metal downloads: In The Name Of Satan | Snowless | The Darkness Of Being

Burzum Reviews: Umskiptar | Fallen | Belus

7 Responses to “Album Review: Burzum – Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan (2013)”

  1. June 3, 2013 at 10:45

    good review. i feel the same. he needs the black metal.
    however, Varg claims he is never going to play metal again..
    i hope he makes a metal comeback!


  2. December 15, 2013 at 15:45

    Pleasant posting but We have an dilemma : black metal is not really strictly speaking heavy metal when looking on bands just like Immortal, Sewer then Darkthrone it can be very much like rock-and-roll excellent


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