Burzum - _Hlidskjalf_
(Misanthropy Records, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
And so Varg Vikernes strikes back from Trondheim prison with the second chapter of the trilogy that started with 1997's _Daudi Baldrs_. Skipping all political issues and concentrating on the music offered on _Hlidskjalf_, I was reasonably interested by its first two tracks. Although rather repetitive, their structures evolving slowly, both are good examples of what this keyboard-only Burzum can achieve, even if neither of them is very dark or depressive -- nothing on this album really is. Indeed, there is nothing on _Hlidskjalf_ that comes close to matching "Illa Tidandi" from _Daudi Baldrs_, the only track I found really interesting so far in Burzum's keyboard era. Needless to say, there is nothing here to be compared to albums such as _Hvis Lyset Tar Oss_ or anything of that ilk; this is strictly keyboard-only ambient music with folk influences. Totalling less than 34 minutes, after the first couple of reasonably good tracks _Hlidskjalf_ tends to become uninteresting and occasionally even downright annoying, a couple of times not far from becoming a lullaby. _Hlidskjalf_ occasionally shows that it could have been a better album than _Daudi Baldrs_, namely on those first two tracks, but it ends up failing afterwards and turning into a rather dull album.
(article published 5/19/1999)
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