Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Varg Vikernes's music has come a long way from the core of the early nineties Norwegian black metal scene he himself helped to build.
While Fallen is still unmistakably black metal (or, if you are of the persuasion that Burzum has never been black metal, Burzum), it now has a wider variety of shades. Especially Varg's vocal performance has become more varied, signs of which showed already on last year's Belus. Fallen also continues with the concept album theme that was already present on Belus.
In keeping with Burzum tradition, the songs are built on fairly simple, but intricately layered guitars, which slowly roll the songs forward in a hypnotic manner. Again, faster songs, such as "Vanvidd" are in the minority, while "Jeg faller", though principally slow, is filled with double time feels, especially on drums.
Despite the odd aggressive and hostile passage as well as the pervading snarled vocals, the album manages to keep up an air of brooding moodiness. Even the occasional blastbeats manage to sound hypnotic instead of disrupting, though this is nothing new. Fallen is at its best when listened to without rush, in a peaceful state of mind.
Fallen may still be a little too Burzum to convert people who dislike Burzum. It may also drive some of the older fans away. However, I don't think I'm in the minority when I regard this album brilliant. One of the best albums so far this year.