Burzum: Anthology (2008)

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Burzum: Anthology (2008)
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Burzum: Anthology (2008)
Ambient Black Metal
Back on Black Records
2008
Release length: 1:01:57
Website
Not to be confused with the compilation of the same name from 2002, this 2008 Anthology release is a new compilation featuring different tracks from the original, spanning the group’s career from their debut album, Burzum, to their final 1999 release, Hliðskjálf, as well as one track that I can’t seem to find on any of their already issued material. As far as compilations goes, this one is as standard as they come, but of course it features some of the group’s best material. Of course, the way it is set up, shows the advancements of the band, but doesn’t necessarily offer much in the range of diversity in tracks for those who are already fans of Burzum to begin with.

While the song “Gebrechlichkeit II” makes for a nice touch as a song that some fans of the band may not already have in their collection, much of the release is pretty standard. Each album released, as well as the Aske EP, has at least one track on this effort, except for Det Som Engang Var which has two songs total. For the most part, many of the songs retain a similar production quality, though there are clear differences that better reflect the era they were recorded. While all of these songs have a great production quality that has a rather raw bite to them, especially the earlier material from Burzum and Aske which really has a more raw quality, both in performance and recording quality. The further along you get, the music typically has a better production quality behind it, such as ther very atmospheric “Def Som en Gang Var”, which is so well done that the listener will become enchanted by the raw Black Metal being played, and the trance inducing ambience in the background, making this release one of the true highlights of the album, and even the band’s career. However, there’s no denying how enjoyable the rawer tracks on here are, such as “Jesus’ Tod”. This song winds up having a raw quality equal to that the band’s earliest releases, and the Ambience in the music really stems from the drums that are pretty far in the background and actually sound a bit muffled, but not to the point where it would ruin the song. Unfortunately, this is one of the very few that are a little less enjoyable, but that’s only because it becomes repetitive as time goes on.

Other then “Jesus’ Tod” being a bit drawn out as it nears the end, this compilation has no real faults. It’s set up nicely for people who are just getting into Burzum and aren’t too familiar with the group’s material, setting the release up in a chronological order. Of course, the only problem with this is that it doesn’t offer much outside of one song to lure in Burzum‘s established fan base that already has the main discography releases. However, that same track listing set up mentioned before still works to the fan’s advantage. The songs picked for this release are fantastic and truly represent some of the best of Burzum‘s material, and it makes for a great release that fans can get lost in, especially with the more ambient filled songs like “Def Som En Gang Var” and “Gebrachichket II”, leaving this compilation feeling as if it were put together by the common Burzum fan. Of course, “Balferd Baldrs”, off the album Dauði Baldrs, is a song that should never have been on a best of release, period. But, in it’s defense, material off Dauði Baldrs should never appear on any best of Burzum release, but at least it’s one of the better songs from that notorious release.

So, if you’re new to Burzum, or just want to hear some of the group’s better material, then this release is for you. The 2008 edition of Anthology is a fantastic compilation that even fans of the band will find delight in owning. Of course, one of the main appeals is that this is a group that managed to change things up nicely over time with their sound, so the more chronological order of the songs works to highlight how the group continued to grow and expand their sound. It’s rare that a best of compilation such as this would work out in this manner, but it’s rare to find a band that has undergone such pivotol changes too.

01. Feeble Screams from Forests Unknown (Burzum)- 7:28
02. Stemmen Fra TÃ¥rnet (Aske) – 6:09
03. Lost Wisdom (Det Som Engang Var) – 4:38
04. Svarte Troner (Det Som Engang Var) – 2:16
05. Det Som En Gang Var (Hvis Lyset Tar Oss)- 14:21
06. Jesus’ Tod (Filosofem) – 8:39
07. Gebrechlichkeit II – 7:52
08. Bálferð Baldrs (Dauði Baldrs)- 6:05
09. Ansuzgardaraiwô (Hliðskjálf) – 4:29
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Burzum (Band)
Burzum (Logo)Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.