Despite all my humbuggery about Christmas, yesterday was a good day, spent with family, unmarred by even one Christmas song. In what little time I spent listening to metal, I wandered back to a long song I’d discovered only the day before and have been listening to repeatedly. It’s called “Glemselens Elv” and it’s by Burzum. In other words, it’s by Varg Vikernes, from the 2010 comeback album called Belus. It’s an amazing piece of music, and so I decided to add another chapter to the mini-series on long songs that I thought I’d finished weeks ago. (What I thought was the last post in the series is here.)
According to Vikernes, Belus is “the name of the ancient European solar deity of light and innocence”, a more ancient name for Baldur — the “White God”, which was the original name planned for the album until it stirred up such controversy that Vikernes abandoned it. He further explains on the Burzum web site:
Belus is not a religious album or an anti-religious album, nor is it a political one, but an attempt to explore the myths about Belus and unveil the oldest roots of our cultural heritage. The album deals with the death of Belus, his sombre journey through the realm of death and his magnificent return. In essence the album and the story of Belus is meant to be an entertaining story about something that once upon a time played a major role in the forming and shaping of Europe. . . .
Inspiration for the album has come from a variety of sources, and I find my inspiration from fairy tales and myths, from classical music, from memories of what once was, from traditional music, from fantasy, from the wind and weather, from deep forests and running water, from the sky and the sunset, from misty mountains and from yellow leaves falling from age old trees.
Vikernes recorded the song in 2008 in the Tromsø prison, the year before his parole after serving 15 years of a 21-year sentence for burning churches and for the murder of his Mayhem bandmate, Euronymous. (more after the jump, including the song . . .) Continue reading »