Christian (later officially changed to Varg) of Burzum - meaning 'darkness' in the world of fantasy - started life benignly in his atheist family travelling to and living in Iraq with his parents as a youngster. Back in Norway and into metal, Chris joined local Bergen death metal band Old Funeral and developed sinister traits. Leaving death metal behind (he appeared on one 7" EP with Old Funeral) he made the acquaintance of one Euronymous of Mayhem and signed to the latter's Deathlike Silence Productions for his project band Burzum.
The man's extreme views and his vocal opinions give him enough credibility in the underground to make him a success and he is deemed involved in the Satanic Inner Circle of Norway which really is little more than a marketing fable. Becoming big on the black metal scene, Burzum garnered interest from Earache Records and the Count (he is one now) travelled to England to meet with Digby of said label. By this time he is feeling restrained by Euronymous who leads in Norway and when Euronymous balked at giving him release from DSP a plot is hatched to coerce the man to let Burzum sign to Earache. This last point has been twisted and contorted by the story-hungry media and altered by Vikernes himself.
One thing lead to another and Count stabed Euronymous in the back at the latter's apartment.
In the meanwhile, Det Som En Gang Var was released initially in 1993 on Varg's Cymophane label and a year later on Misanthropy. The original version was limited to 950 copies. Prison has not been a barrier to Burzum and the increasingly Aryan and electronica band keeps churning product from the confines of prison.
Coincidentally Count had recorded bass for the Mayhem studio debut and the tracks had to be redone after the fact. Burzum had also at one point featured Mayhem's Hellhammer and Samoth of Emperor. Further strangely, Mayhem later signed to the label of Burzum: England's Misanthropy.
Old Funeral featured future Immortal members.
The Norwegian media reported in October of 2003 that Varg Vikernes failed to return after a short leave from his prison in Vestfold, Norway where the former musician was serving a 21-year sentence. He was consequently arrested after a car chase, returned and charged with failure to return to prison and hijacking a car. It was later reported that he was also carrying firearms. Candlelight Records issued a compilation called Anthology featuring material from the man’s six albums in 2008. Varg, who was convicted of murdering Mayhem guitarist Euronymous in August of 1993 and also of setting fire to three churches in Norway, was set free in May of 2009 and decamped to his home and family. Following his release from prison, Varg Vikernes reformed Burzum and completed nine songs. An autobiography was also being written. Chris Varg was back in 2009 and wanted to release an album called Den Hvite Guden (The White God) in March of 2010. The man promised the album would not have anything to do with “negro” or “homosexual” behaviour. Nevertheless, the album cover depicted two half-naked men standing very close to one another. It ended up being called Belus. White power band Burzum of recently released prisoner Varg Vikernes was next issuing an album called Fallen. The eighth album from Burzum would be released in North America on April 5. The album was the second to be released through Varg Vikernes’ imprint Byelobog Productions and licensed by Candlelight. Umskiptar the 2012 album from Varg Vikernes of Burzum was released on May 22nd through Candlelight.
BURZUM – ANTHOLOGY – ALLGERMANIC/CANDLELIGHT
Big fan of calling a spade a spade here, so let’s face it. Band samplers (ditto anthologies) are usually attempts by current or former labels to cash in on just a little more on a band’s music without incurring silly costs like studio time or regular royalty rates. The said band might not even be in existence or on the issuing label. Burzum’s Anthology is certainly not an exception. Worse, this CD was issued in 2002 and is now being given a new lease on life by Candlelight.
Burzum, a.k.a Christian a.k.a Varg Vikernes a.k.a Count a.k.a Grishnackh, needs no introduction being a one-man cult in the black metal circles. The man practiced his art in more ways than just by picking up an instrument so his place in history is safe. Indeed, the Count was a regular correspondent with Metallian Towers and many of the rehearsal tapes he mailed in are somewhere in the Royal Archives. Unfortunately, however, the man plain and simple sold out his metal credential by going ambient/new age/electronic. Granted his prolonged stay in prison was a major factor leading to the change of style, but so was his eventual disdain for the term and music ‘black metal.’ Would he approve of this Anthology? Perhaps he does given the undistinguished Allgermanic’s claim that the disc will benefit its heathen propagation program. This movement might in fact be another name for Chris’ personal bank account. Kinda like the conservatives and the oil lobby. Either way, the transition into weaker sounds is plain on a chronological CD like this and comes around track number five.
With ambience, mood and atmosphere thick in the later songs and on later albums, it is the earlier tracks, which make any sense to metal fans into the darkest and crudest of noisy sadisms! – Ali “The Metallian”