Burzum is the solo project of Varg Vikernes (born Kristian Larsson Vikernes, AKA Greifi Grishnackh/Count Grishnackh). BURZUM GENRES
Burzum was initially known as Uruk-hai, Varg Vikernes' first band which he formed in 1988-89. He changed the name to Burzum (meaning "darkness" in the black speech of Mordor (from the series "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien) or "the light", depending on which view you take) in 1991 after the disbanding of Satanel, a band he founded with Abbath of Immortal. Varg is perhaps the most notorious figure in Norwegian black metal mostly due to his imprisonment for several church arsons and the murder of Euronymous of Mayhem fame. He claims self defence, despite inflicting twenty stabwounds in the back, two to the neck and one to the forehead using a 10cm Swiss Army Knife (though he claims most of them were caused by broken glass).
Burzum played a vital role, along with other Norwegian black metals bands such as Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor and Immortal, in the development of black metal as a musical genre and ideology. In particular, the ambient black metal, depressive black metal, and atmospheric black metal subgenres owe much to Burzum's sound.
From his 1992 debut, Burzum, until his final black metal album, 1996's Filosofem, Burzum progressed from playing raw, primitive black metal to a vastly more expansive style which incorporated several layers of instrumentation while still maintaining the minimalist elements of Burzum's earlier work. His two most recent albums, 1997's DauĆ°i Baldrs and 1999's HliĆ°skjĆ”lf, are purely dark ambient works recorded whilst in prison; however, they do not represent a complete departure from Burzum's previous works, as his albums always contained keyboard elements, and there were keyboard-only pieces on every album except Aske and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss. Throughout his career, Varg has managed to create and maintain a very distinct sound unique to Burzum.
Varg's lyrical themes are mostly concerned with Tolkien fantasy, anti-Christianity and Germanic paganism. His political views, however, have engendered much controversy. In interviews and on his homepage, racist and eugenic statements can be found. Some people therefore consider Varg's music to be NSBM (National Socialist black metal) and ban Burzum records. Others argue that the music to be judged apart from Varg's personal views. Varg himself does not consider Burzum to be a NSBM band, both because there is nothing National Socialistic about Burzum's music or lyrics and because he does not like "socialism." However, it is worth noting that Burzum does enjoy immense popularity within NSBM circles.
To read what Varg has to say about the origins of Burzum, as well as other areas pertaining to Burzum, read his series of articles (A Burzum Story) at http://burzum.org/eng/biography.shtml, provided at the current official Burzum website.
Black Metal, Ambient
BURZUM LYRICAL THEMES
Folklore, Fantasy, Gloom, Longing
Norway (Bergen), formed in 1989
BURZUM CURRENT RECORD LABEL
BURZUM CURRENT LINE-UP
Varg ``Count Grishnackh`` Vikernes (b. Kristian Vikernes) - Vocals/All Instruments (ex-Old Funeral, ex-Mayhem (Nor), Uruk-Hai (Nor), Satanel (Nor))
BURZUM PREVIOUS LINE-UP
Samoth - Session Bass (on ``Aske``) (Zyklon, Thou Shalt Suffer, Gorgoroth, Satyricon, Zyklon-B (Nor), Ildjarn (session), Xerasia, Arcturus (Nor), Scum (Nor), Embryonic, Emperor)