Much has been made about Varg Vikernes’ personal life and criminal history, so I won’t go into it here. I am a firm believer in separating the music from the creators of the music. So while Varg is a murderer, a racist, and a church burner, I don’t want to discuss that right now. What I would like to discuss is his musical genius. Burzum’s one man band, lo-fi, recorded in my closet brand of ambient black metal is some compelling shit, and Filosofem is Varg’s finest depressing hour.
Filosofem is definitely the least “heavy” of all the records on this list, yet it will probably be the hardest one for you to sit through. It is not afraid to test your patience, especially on 25 minute ambient track “Rundgang Um Die Transzendentale Saule Der Singularitat” . The homegrown production can also be grating on the ears at times. But for the most part the songs are so fucking cool and weirdly catchy and absolutely hypnotic that you get sucked right in, like on leadoff track “Dunkelheit”. And that is the way Burzum is enjoyed, when you submit to the dark ambiance and rich atmosphere and just enjoy. Depressing, but beautifully badass. Everyone should hear this album at least once.