The most anticipated release of 2010 is upon us! When you think of how the musical landscape has changed since Varg’s incarceration and last Metal album, it really is amazing. Amazing what passes for Black Metal these days, that is. Take a look at the infamous Inner Circle. Sure, Immortal and Satyricon are still decent bands, but Darkthrone (now a slightly more primitive Gorilla Biscuits), Ishahn (putting out glorified Air Supply records), and Mayhem (20 years/20 good songs) aren’t worth a piss anymore. I won’t even address NWOCBM (New Wave of College Black Metal) as it would be unfair to the Count, but if you would have told him Dimmu Borgir was the best Black Metal band around these days, he may have volunteered to stay in prison. But enough, let’s get down to business. Belus is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s like all the non-keyboard Burzum albums rolled into one. The anger and fury of Burzum/Aske hand-in-hand with the precise, epic melancholy of Filosofem. Nearly two decades in the clink haven’t taken the edge off of Virkenes, his sorely missed vocals sound great. More mature yet still brimming with misanthropic rage. His strongest quality, however, was always the riffs and Belus is no exception. Repetitive, bleak, melodic, and memorable. It’s nice to see the original rise up again and school the legion of cheap imitators. If I had one small quip, it would be the album’s final two cuts. Basically 18 minutes of droning, moody outro with little to no vocal action. Nevertheless, a triumphant return. The major PC Metal media will probably go out of their way to condemn this album due to Varg’s political beliefs and the fact that they are all pretty much Post Metal posers nowadays (although the Count does have quite a long scruffy beard at the moment, so there is a chance…), but I for one am ecstatic that the master is playing “nigger music” once again.
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