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Daudi Baldrs

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Album Review

America's Dead Ringer has begun to reissue the Burzum catalogue, making it available for the first time in the U.S. While the package here is quite nice, none of the inside text has been translated into English. As for the music, the fifth album by Varg Vikernes' musical alter ego Burzum, Daudi Baldrs, is a continuation on the ideas first expressed with great success on Filosofem, but done completely digitally from keyboards. Vikernes has abandoned the entire musical idea of black metal here and, as on the aforementioned recording (from which he recycles certain modes and themes), he is attempting to create a new folk and classical music that explores his rather insane and misanthropic notions of society and (anti)culture. Vikernes is in prison for the murder of a former friend and has become an avowed Nazi who claims that his paganism (the worship of Odin) is the inspiration of his racist, anti-Judeo/Christian views. That said, his music cannot be dismissed merely as the work of a miscreant. Vikernes is a very serious musician. His attempts at the creation of a new Western music based on primitive notions of melody and harmony are as beautiful as they are convincing in his chosen mode of expression. His use of melodic and thematic repetition, dynamic and textured progressions from one augmented chord progression to the next always organized according to a large, yet restrained, aesthetic offer another view of the violence his music represents and, indeed, even longs for. There is real malevolence here, but, like other artistic expressions of anger, it can be seductive in its subtlety and very pleasing to the senses, which makes Daudi Baldrs almost necessary listening for anyone interested in the evolution of black metal into a late 20th century pseudo classicism, understanding the aesthetics of neo-Nazism as it attempts to pass itself off as new age spirituality, and, most importantly, for knowing what the enemy is up to.

Biography

Formed: Bergen, Norway

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Burzum is the one-man project of Varg Vikernes (born Christian Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh), perhaps the most notorious figure in Norwegian black metal. Although Burzum had an unpredictably experimental bent — encompassing black metal, industrial, electronic, and dark ambient music — Vikernes will forever be associated with his conviction for the 1993 murder of former Mayhem bandmate Euronymous. It wasn't the first time Vikernes had run afoul of the law; he had been a suspect in arsons...
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Daudi Baldrs, Burzum
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