You can't very well talk about the history of black metal and not bring up the name Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh, and his one man band Burzum. Formed in 1991, Burzum were one of the leaders of the early Norwegian black metal scene alongside Mayhem, Immortal, Emperor, Darkthrone, and Gorgoroth. His political and social rantings aside (not to mention his incarceration for the murder of Mayhem's Eronymous), Vikernes produced some chilling & raw black metal music under the Burzum moniker, much of which has always been hard to get for fans of the genre. Thanks to Candlelight Records, some of Burzum's best pieces are included here on Anthology, a nine track collection of varying moods and settings. Some of the earlier numbers, when Varg was intent on being the most primal and raw black metal act on the scene, are especially gripping, and feature plenty of shrieking vocals, distorted buzz saw guitars, and pounding drum blasts. While the playing here is nothing groundbreaking, there are some great riffs and melodies on songs like "Lost Wisdom" and "Feeble Screams From Forest Unknown", showing a young musician who really had something to say. Later on, Burzum decided to move away from brutal black metal into more ambient, though no less dark and bizarre, territory, with tunes like "Def Som en Gang Var" (a nightmarish vision dripping with creepy keyboard soundscapes and crushing metal riffs), "Gebrechichket", "Svart Troner", and "Balferd Baldrs" utilizing strings, horns, keyboards, and traditional metal instruments to create haunting and disturbing tonal colors.
Anthology is an hour of material that certainly won't be for everyone, but if you can block out of your mind all the of the controversy that Varg Vikernes has been involved in over the last 17 years, and give this stuff a few listens, you'll find some pretty compelling music contained here that proves why Burzum is considered a legendary band in black metal lore.
1) Feeble Screams From Forests Unknown
2) Stemmen fra Taarmet
3) Lost Wisdom
4) Svart Troner
5) Def Som en Gang Var
6) Jesus Tod
8) Balferd Baldrs