How do you start a review like this? Well, I’m going to start by saying that I like early Burzum. The first two albums and the “Aske” EP are classics. Before anyone buries their opinions in my anus, please note that I don’t give a flying squirrel fart what you think. These albums were released in the formative years of Black Metal and they capture that era perfectly. Sadly, Varg‘s actions have meant that anyone who reviews one of his albums is obligated to talk about his views. This is unfortunate because I could review a Mortification or Deicide album without having to delve into their idiotic beliefs. It’s worth noting that, until all the church burning’s (etc), no-one really took these Norwegian dudes seriously. It just seemed like a massive pissing contest. I have a vague memory of reading an interview where Varg claimed to be the incarnation of Odin! You can’t take the views of a guy who says something like that seriously, can you?
To put it on record, Varg‘s politics/views/beliefs are garbage and I’ve largely ignored everything he’s done since being released from prison. The music I’ve heard has been as shit as his narrow-minded views. Anyway, when asked to review this album I was torn because (a) I like the music I grew up with, (b) I’m not sure I want to give this meat-puppet more attention, and (c) “Thulean Mysteries” is 90 minutes and 23 tracks of ‘Ambient’ music that, according to the promotional material, Count Grand Wizard couldn’t give two shits about. Given you’re reading this, I guess you figured out that I couldn’t resist the urge to throw faeces at one of Black Metal’s old guard. Let’s do this track-by-track.
Track 1, “The Sacred Well“, is one chord played for a few minutes with some other, slowly-played, notes acting as a melody line. Towards the end of the song some doorbell sounds are introduced. Amazing! Breath-takingly pointless! If the Burzum name wasn’t attached to this, no-one would pay any attention to it whatsoever.
Fuck this! I can’t do this track-by-track thing for 23 songs. I’ll just pick out some good and bad bits I think are worthy of comment. I liked the melody in “ForeBears“, but it’s also an example of everything I hate about this album. It’s sooooo simple that it’s bland, almost ‘white’ bread. See what I did there? Honestly, a teenager noodling on an acoustic guitar could come up with this stuff.
Well, we’re 12 songs in now. Over half-way there. Time seems to have stopped. Dull riffs are played so often the life is sucked out of them. Sorry, poor choice of words when reviewing an album by a guy who spent 21 years in jail. I’m sure Varg was fine in jail though. Back to milking men….I mean riffs…milking riffs, rather than developing new material for a new album, Varg boldly recycles a song from an earlier album. If there’s one thing I enjoy it’s listening to shitter versions of earlier material.
Mercifully, there’s some incredibly short songs on this album. That said, some of these songs are truly woeful. “Heill auk Saell” is laughable. I literally laughed. I also laughed at the lyrics in “The Land of Thulean“. They’re tacky AF. And, the farty sound in “The Ruins of Dwarfmount” is comedy gold.
As regular readers of my reviews know, I try to include a few positives about an album too, even when I hate it. So here’s the second positive: “Gathering of Herbs” is probably the most musically interesting song on the album, but Varg needs to learn how to resolve a chord.
Man! This turned into a long-arse review. Let’s wrap it up. Varg says in the promotional material that he has no interest in music anymore. You can tell. But, one has to wonder why you’d bother releasing an album if you’ve got no interest in music. Why not just keep it to yourself? Oh! That’s right. Varg is an attention-seeking child. Call me cynical, but this album comes across as a cash-grab. If true, that would mean that Varg has taken on the stereotypes of a group he claims to despise. I wonder if he experiences cognitive dissonance. Poor fella! No doubt he’ll make enough money to last till the next time he doesn’t feel like making an album, while all I’ll do is upset a bunch of incels. Bring on the hate mail! Before you do contact me though, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t hide behind a pseudonym. That might tell you something about me that you should keep in mind.
Rating – 1 / 5