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Burzum

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Dismal Spells from the Dragonrealm by Finland’s Druadan Forest isn’t black metal, isn’t goth or darkwave, and most definitely isn’t your average ambient mixer – but it shares common elements of all these as it binds together sweeping sonic portraits of darkness, despair and dread, making this fantasy soundtrack from Werewolf Records a perfect example of dungeon synth done right.

While the mood of the do-it-yourself attitude of early second-wave black metal is all but absent on this tribute record, it is still a delight in terms of nostalgic charm – and while the holistic impression of the record is a little awkward and (obviously) not fresh, original creative output – but the admiration these bands hold for the halcyon days of black metal yore, and for Burzum, is undeniable.

After last year’s highly debated revisionist compilation From The Depths Of Darkness, Norway’s most controversial vocalist/multi-instrumentalist and Burzum mastermind, Varg Vikernes, returns with a new 11-track collection titled Umskiptar (Metamorphoses). This is probably the best studio effort he has produced since his 2009’s infamous prison release. All the trademarks of the often-imitated-but-never-equaled sound of this old school experimental Black Metal institution are very present. Yet, everything somehow feels refreshing thanks to higher production values and more emphasis on recitative clean vocals.

Today Stereogum hosts the official premiere of “Vanvidd,” the fourth track from Burzum’s upcoming ‘Fallen’ full-length. Burzum’s eighth studio offering will be released in North America on April 5. The album is the second to be released via Varg Vikernes’ imprint Byelobog Productions. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Belus features seven new compositions by the controversial Norwegian musician and striking cover art by renowned French painter William Adolphe Bouguereau.