The Ways of Yore

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Varg Vikernes made his name as one of the Norwegian black metal scene's more notorious figures early on, involved not just with the extreme music of Mayhem and other black metal groundbreakers, but also with church burnings, murder, and time spent in prison for his crimes. This is all old news to anyone familiar with Vikernes and his one-man project Burzum, a musical entity that shifted from early black metal darkness into progressively more and more ambient territory. With 11th album The Ways of Yore, Vikernes continues the foray into European medieval music that he began with 2013's Sôl Austan, Mâní Vestan. The album's inherent gloom comes not from the burning hatred and isolation that fueled earlier Burzum albums, but conveys the same intensity through its use of chant and traditional instruments of early Norwegian folk music, which wrap around Vikernes' signature use of ambient electronics to create a truly inspired web of harrowing sound.

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