I was a little shocked to learn of a new Burzum release so soon (barely a year removed from 2010’s return to civilization, Belus), and perhaps a little more surprised to discover the album was recorded in only two weeks. I guess after so many years incarcerated, and considering the large financial debt owed to Norwegian authorities, the creative juices must be overflowing. In retrospect, I suppose Varg does vomit out releases at a fast pace, with the first five Burzum albums unleashed in only four years. So, the cause for concern may not be warranted, that is until you listen to Fallen and realize it is by far the most different, diverse record of his career. Another strange minute-long intro leads into “Jeg Faller,” probably the best song on the album, yet plagued by a chorus that sounds like he’s saying, “egg farmer.” Given his levitation towards extreme hypnotic repetition, this produces an unintentionally humorous song. Which leads me to the high percentage of clean vocals used on this album. It’s not so much a complaint, as Varg’s voice isn’t bad at all, more like a fear that he’s eventually going to go full-on Bathory on us. The next two tracks (“Valen” and “Vanvidd”) have a very melodic Filosofem vibe, but don’t really go anywhere and aren’t very memorable. “Enhver til Sitt” has a lot of pure, raw aggression like that found on Belus’s heavier tracks, and the 10-minute “Budstikken” drones on leading to a rather pointless outro. So, easily the weakest album in the Burzum catalog, but still volumes above many. It is great to have the Count back, but I just hope quantity doesn’t replace quality.
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