Boomkat Product Review:
Everyone's favourite black metal sociopath Varg Vikernes is back, this time with 11 tracks from his first two albums (1992's Burzum and 1993's Det Som Engang Var) re-recorded last year "the way he originally intended". There are some fundamental changes: 'Channelling The Power Of Souls Into A New God', one of the earliest examples of Burzum's forays into ambient electronics, becomes 'Channeling The Power Of Minds Into A New God' - synths are swapped for guitars, making for a swampy, atmospheric doom sound akin to Dylan Carlson's Earth. That doesn't mean the album's lacking in chilly atmospherics, not by any stretch of the imagination: 'The Coming', 'Sassu Wannu', 'Call Of The Siren' all conjure sinister, hushed pagan rituals amid mist-wreathed Nordic mountains. The core of the album, though, is fast, furious BM: the re-recordings don't sound as no-fi and in-the-red as the originals, which the uber-kvlt fans will doubtless take issue with, but they sound as caustic and claustrophobic as ever - the guitar sounds are just richer and fleshier, Varg's playing more obviously skilled. It's a truly visceral but also edifying listen: 'Ea. Lord of The Depths' makes explicit black metal's debt to hardcore punk, while 'A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit' is more Melvins than Mayhem. Music for church-burning never sounded so good.