Friday, July 20, 2012

vblog: sent me stuff

I decided to do a video blog for once. Excuse the video filter, my squeaky chair and non-native English.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Living, breathing Burzum

Varg Vikernes is a busy man. He got out of prison in 2009 and has since released 3 new Burzum albums, plus an album of re-recorded old songs. This much is fact. Whether these new albums are any good, however, is a matter of opinion.

Lots of people are annoyed because they don't sound like the good old Burzum records of the early 90s. But what do you expect? It's not a twenty-something guy making the records anymore, and, furthermore, there was a 15 year gap between albums (not counting the two ambient records, of course), during which the man sat in prison – he was not cryogenically frozen and didn't just pick up where he left off. Had Vikernes been able to write and record albums throughout this time – and at the pace he was, and now is again, releasing them – roughly one per year – we would have something like 20 Burzum albums by which to judge the musical evolution at this point.

So, yes, new Burzum isn't old Burzum, that much is obvious, but to me at least, the new albums also have their well-deserved place in the universe of music. They just fit a different mood than the old ones.

And now, to sum up, a few words about the latest Burzum offering, Umskiptar. Entirely devoid of faster tracks and based on heavy repetition and layered guitars, the album is at the core of what kind of music Vikernes does well – at least in my opinion. It's not the least bit in your face, but rather lulls the listener into a trance (which is not a new trick in Vikernes's book). Now, if I could only understand the lyrics, which are taken from the Völuspá, a poem written in Old Norse.

Note that I dislike some of Vikernes's opinions, but luckily he has managed to keep them out of his music, which, incidentally, I tend to like.

And next time it's time for another pick of the week, don't you think?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Trip report: Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2012

Okay, I'm back from the party and a trip report will follow. So, this was my eighth Tuska in row and tenth altogether, and also the second time it was at Suvilahti instead of Kaisaniemi, as we'd grown accustomed. By default, the setting was less appealing than Kaisaniemi: no shade, no lawns to sit on; but not entirely without its perks, as the bars of Kallio were within walking distance and so was my favourite fastfood place, Vegemesta. But in spite of the shortcomings I was there again, and again for all the three days. And it was worth it, goddammit!

On Friday, I arrived just as Saint Vitus were beginning their set, which consisted largely of material off their new album, Lillie: F-65. They didn't, however, abandon such old favourites as "Born too Late" and "Look Behind You", and with their no-nonsense style of playing, they got the crowd warmed up pretty well. If there was something wanting, it was tracks off Die Healing, which I think is hands down their best album.

After Vitus, it was time to hit the beer area and save our poor ears from Trivium's shit. While enjoying our overpriced, watered down beers, we accidentally missed Demigod, but made it to the 3rd stage in time for Arcturus. And it was glorious! I am only familiar with one of their albums, La Masquerade Infernale, but the rest of the material, despite its strangeness, came naturally to these ears and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And the damn pipes on ICS Vortex! I mean, goddamn! I knew he could sing from the couple of Dimmu Borgir albums I've heard, but Arcturus's material allowed for a wider range of styles and display of skill. And did they say they're making a new album? Seems like I may have to see them again some day.

After Arcturus, it was time to get out of dodge before Megadeth would hit the stage, since they were fairly disappointing two years ago and didn't interest me all that much. Therefore, we went out for some beers, followed by Gaf and Ghoul Patrol (and Moonsorrow) at an afterparty. Without going into more detail, both G-bands were awesome, and we were knackered enough after them, that we skipped Moonsorrow, but I'm sure they were pretty awesome too, as they usually are.