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Burzum: Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan

Album Review

Varg Vikernes dusts down his synth for an ambient soundtrack

Sôl Austan, Mâni Vestan dispenses with Burzum’s post-prison feelings of rage that were found on Belus and Fallen and counters the utter drivel that inhabited the terrifically dull Umskiptar by encompassing beautiful vistas of ambient sound.

Set to accompany a feature, ForeBears, made by Varg Vikernes (never a predictable fellow) and his wife, this is an intriguingly minimal production that strips back the Burzum sound to light, electronic pulses and as it relays his own ideals of the pagan descent into darkness and the subsequent re-ascension into the light. _ _

Sôl Austan leads the record with blissed-out washes of sound and slight beats before the industrial beginnings of Rûnar Munt Bû Finna gives way to a sound akin to Det Som Engang Var – a comparison that sits much better here than with Burzum’s ‘prison’ records of ambient electronica. Closing track Sôlbjörg is a gorgeous and sorrow-filled ending to an album that defies expectation and truly treads its own path of ambient melancholy whilst holding true to Vikernes’s aspirations for this work.

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