Burzum is the black metal solo project of Varg Vikernes (born Kristian Larsson Vikernes, AKA Greven Grishnackh/Count Grishnackh, currently legally named Louis Cachet). Burzum played a vital role, along with other Norwegian black metal 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 and depressive black metal subgenres owe much to Burzum's sound.
From his 1992 debut, Burzum, until his (for the time being) final black metal album, 1996's Filosofem, Burzum went from playing raw, primitive black metal to playing ambient, exclusively synthesizer-based music. His two albums, 1997's Dauði Baldrs and 1999's Hliðskjálf, 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. Throughout his career, Varg has managed to create and maintain a very distinct sound unique to Burzum.
Despite Norwegian black metal scene being associated with anti-Christianity and anti-religion in general, Burzum's lyrics have been dealing largely with Tolkien world and general mysticism. Varg has totally distanced himself from the satanism usually associated with black metal.
Due to his imprisonment for several church arsons and the murder of Euronymous of Mayhem, Vikernes has become one of the most notorious figures within the Norwegian black metal scene. Vikernes maintains that he killed Euronymous in an act of self-defense, and denies participation in the burning of three Norwegian stave churches.
To read what Varg has to say about the origins of Burzum, '92/'93, and his own ideology as well as other matters concerning Burzum and Varg Vikernes, read his series of articles (A Burzum Story) at http://www.burzum.org/eng/library/, provided at the current official Burzum and Varg Vikernes website.
After 2012's Umskiptar, Varg said he is done with metal and now only produces ambient music albums under Burzum name. Read more on Last.fm
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