Artist: Burzum
   Title: The Ways Of Yore
   Label: Byelogbog Productions

Ok, so I am reviewing an album that strictly speaking is not rock or metal but at the same time, when the name Burzum is mentioned, it is immediately synonymous with an enormous contribution towards black metal music.  For this reason only, I feel that the latest album is worth reviewing.  Burzumís legacy speaks volumes, but since Varg Vikernes incarceration and release from prison his music has been a far cry from the black metal origins he was famed for.  2013ís SŰl austan, M‚ni vestan was Burzumís first ambient album since 1999ís 'HliūskjŠlf' and 2014ís 'The Ways of Yore' follows on from where its predecessor left off.

This record is largely instrumentally led with very few lyrics throughout other than a few spoken passages.  It is primarily carried forward by electronic, acoustic, minimalist ambient sounds much like SŰl austan, M‚ni vestan.  I am a fan of minimalist music and composers, so I found this album very interesting, as it displayed an array of different sounds and musical passages.  The use of traditional instruments and folk elements in several of the songs was another nice touch.  My main criticism of this album is that it is quite one-dimensional, as it does not make any use of dynamics at all.  This results in the album sounding quite flat from start to the finish. 

Songs flow into one another easily so at points I had listened to three songs without realizing it.  It is a very relaxing and easy listening album and does fit more along the lines of background music unless you are giving it your full attention.  Yet, there are some finer moments in songs such as 'Autumn Leaves' (not the jazz standard!), which is the highlight of the record with its haunting, eerie distorted sounds and instrumentation.  

'They Ways of Yore' will receive split feelings from fans of the band, as this record is the polar opposite of the early Burzum recordings.  Personally, I thought it was quite an enjoyable album but itís defiantly not one for first time listeners. 

Review by: Rob Herald

Tracklisting:

1. God from the Machine
2. The Portal 
3. Heill Odinn 
4. Lady in the Lake
5. The Coming of Ettins 
6. The Reckoning of Man
7. Heil Freyja
8. The Ways of Yore
9. Ek Fellr (I am falling)
10. Hall of the Fallen
11. Autumn Leaves
12. Emptiness
13. To Hell and Back Again

  

 

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