BY Mike SimpsonPublished Apr 5, 2011

Although released only a year after 2010's excellent Belus, Fallen shows that the comparatively long 11-year period between Burzum's current output and previous albums allowed for a sizable gestation period for greatness and maturity to be realized. Fallen is most remarkable in how it stands apart from its predecessor, with more melodic and engaging territory clearly staked. Although purported to draw most from 1993's opus, Det Som Engang Var, Fallen demonstrates a far greater progression and solidification of the band's ideals than the aforementioned release. The classic black metal rawness of Burzum is there, but with greater purpose, hammered home time and again with repetitive themes that suggest more than a small amount of timeworn folk music and classical influence. The clarity is further enhanced by Varg's vocals, which utilize clean passages on every song, featuring a bardic delivery when sung and a storyteller-like consistency and engagement when spoken.

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