[[quoteright:345:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/postmoarvargs_5482.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Such a nice young man, that Varg...]]

->''"There's more chaos, war, pollution now than ever before in our recorded history. Of course, we might have known a period with worse conditions, but the Christians burnt all the records that could tell us about it.''"
-->-- '''Varg Vikernes'''

%%'''NOTE:''' Varg Vikernes is a pretty polarising fellow, so please keep a neutral perspective and remember the RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement.

Burzum is a one-man studio project by Norwegian black metal musician Varg Vikernes, notorious within music history for church burnings, the killing of Music/{{Mayhem}}'s guitarist Euronymous, and being a white nationalist. Burzum is also the {{Trope Maker|s}} for ambient black metal.

Founded in 1991, Burzum initially played raw black metal, and quickly became prominent within the Norwegian black metal scene. Burzum was signed to [[NonIndicativeName Deathlike Silence Productions]], the record label run by Øystein Aarseth (aka Euronymous); Vikernes released four albums before his arrest in 1994 for the murder of Euronymous (whom he stabbed, allegedly over a contract dispute), as well as the arson of several churches in the area. While in prison, Vikernes recorded two dark ambient albums, which had a more mixed reception from the metal community than the rest of his albums.

Vikernes was released in 2009 on parole, and started recording the album ''Belus'', his first metal album since his arrest.

'''Studio albums:'''

* ''Burzum'' (BlackSpeech of Mordor for "Darkness"), 1992
* ''Aske'' (Norwegian for "Ashes"; EP), 1993
* ''Det som engang var'' (Norwegian for "What Once Was"), 1993
* ''Hvis lyset tar oss'' (Norwegian for "If the Light Takes Us"), 1994
* ''Filosofem'' (Norwegian for "Philosopheme"), 1996
* ''Dauði Baldrs'' (Old Norse for "Baldr's Death"), 1997
* ''Hliðskjálf'' (the name of Odin's throne in Myth/NorseMythology), 1999
* ''Belus'' (Proto-Indo-European name of Baldr/Apollo/Belenus/Belobog, according to Vikernes), 2010
* ''Fallen'', 2011
* ''Umskiptar'' (Old Norse for "Metamorphosis"), 2012
* ''Sôl austan, Mâni vestan'' (Old Norse for "East of the Sun, West of the Moon"), 2013
* ''The Ways of Yore'', 2014

''Dauði Baldrs'', ''Hliðskjálf'', ''Sôl austan, Mâni vestan'', and ''The Ways of Yore'' are ambient albums; the remainder are primarily metal (though they typically have at least one ambient song).
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!! Varg Vikernes and his music provide the following trope examples:

* {{Ambient}}: An influence on his black metal work, and his non-metal stuff usually falls into this genre.
* BadassBookworm: Varg has previously expressed his admiration for many different authors. The most famous example is probably Creator/JRRTolkien, from whose work Varg takes Burzum's name.
* BilingualBonus: While he has a few English lyrics, most of his songs are in his native Norwegian, and ''Umskiptar'' has lyrics in Old Norse (taken from a poem entitled ''Völuspá''). Also, the most commonly used versions of the song titles on ''Filosofem'' are all in German, although the lyrics themselves are in English ("Dunkelheit", "Erblicket die Töchter des Firmaments", "Gebrichlichkeit I") and Norwegian ("Jesus' Tod"). There are German translations of the song lyrics in the liner notes, though.
* BlackMetal: ''Dauði Baldrs'', ''Hliðskjálf'', ''Sôl austan, Mâni vestan'', and ''The Ways of Yore'' are straight-up electronic albums, but the rest of Varg's material is black metal (although there is usually at least one ambient song on most of the black metal albums, too).
* BlackSpeech: The band name means "Darkness" in the Black Speech of Mordor.
* BrownNote: The music is intended as a real life example of this trope -- Vikernes envisions each Burzum album as a kind of "spell" to be listened to while the listener is lying in bed, such that by the end of the album they will be sent to sleep. YMMV as to whether he succeeded in this goal.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: This is particularly evident at his trial. The faces he makes in the file photos don't look like he's taking it very seriously.
* EitherOrTitle: Sort of. There are two sets of titles for the songs on ''Filosofem''. One generally (with the exception of "Burzum", which is in the BlackSpeech of Mordor) matches the language of the lyrics (if there are any), meaning they're either in English or Norwegian (the first instrumental has a Norwegian title, while the second has an English one). The other set is in German. As mentioned above, the German titles are more commonly used, though Vikernes considers the Black Speech / English / Norwegian titles to be more accurate. The lyrics also feature German translations.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: A lot of his songs take several minutes before the vocals enter. "Det som en gang var" may be the best example of this.
* EpicRocking: About half of the songs he's recorded. ''Hvis lyset tar oss'', for example, is comprised of four tracks, the shortest of which is nearly eight minutes long. His longest song is "Rundgang um die transzendentale Säule der Singularität", which is over twenty-five minutes in length, though it's a bit of a subversion as it's a repetitive ambient piece. His longest normal song is "Det som en gang var", which runs for 14:21 (although see Fading into the Next Song below).
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: Used occasionally. Perhaps the most noteworthy example is "Morgenrøde" into "Belus' tilbakekomst (konklusjon)", which together makes up a continuous suite of music that lasts for eighteen and a half minutes.
* GenreShift: From black metal to dark ambient. And back to black metal again with ''Belus''. And then back to dark ambient again with ''Sôl austan, Mâni vestan''.
* GratuitousGerman: As mentioned above, the most commonly used set of titles on ''Filosofem''.
* HarshVocals: For the most part. Clean singing/spoken word is used sparsely.
* HeavyMithril: Quite frequently.
* IAmTheBand: As stated in the opening sentence, Varg Vikernes is the only member of Burzum. Considering [[MurderIsTheBestSolution how well]] his [[Music/{{Mayhem}} last attempt]] at playing in a band with other people went, this is probably for the best.
* IndecipherableLyrics: As a rule when the lyrics are screamed (although a Norwegian speaker might face less difficulty).
* {{Instrumentals}}: Up to half of his work, really. Several of his albums have no lyrics at all.
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: "Rundtgåing av den transcendentale egenhetens støtte" is the most obvious example. Some of his other songs probably qualify as well.
* LoudnessWar: All of the metal albums he's released since he got out of prison are painfully clipped. He claimed that ''Fallen'' was going to be mastered "as if it was classical music", but it got a dismal [=DR6=] (worse than the preceding album ''Belus''[=' DR7=]), which begs the question of what kind of classical music Varg listens to. It doesn't help, either, that the vinyl edition of at least ''Belus'' used the same master as the CD. Reissues of his old stuff remain just as dynamic as they ever were, however (a typical score on one of his '90s albums being [=DR10=]). While some sources claimed the albums would be getting remastered, the reissues when they came out had the same dynamic range they always have and sounded pretty much the same in other respects as well. His post-prison ambient albums have also been exceptions, with both releases as of 2015 coming in at [=DR10=].
* MetalScream: Type 3, mostly.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: The black metal material mostly sticks to a 9 or a 10. The dark ambient material can't really be measured on the scale due to being purely electronic.
* MultipleChoicePast: He changes his story nearly every time he recounts how he killed Euronymous.
* Myth/NorseMythology: The most common lyrical theme.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: His (first) GenreShift to dark ambient came about because for the duration of his sentence the prison guards refused to allow him to record with guitars and basses, only allowing him a keyboard. Yes, prisons in Norway ''do'' allow inmates to record dark ambient albums because in most of Europe detention is meant to be rehabilitative rather than punishing/torturous.
* RefugeInAudacity: Varg claimed to have stabbed Euronymous in self defense at his murder trial. Euronymous had ''23'' wounds on his corpse.
** Although he claims that many of Euronymous' "stab wounds" were actually inflicted by broken glass he threw him down upon (not ''entirely'' implausible, considering several of these wounds were on the soles of his feet).
** He also put a picture of the burned-down Fantoft Stave Church on the cover of his EP ''Aske'' (Ashes). And this worked. He was convicted of burning down 3 other churches, but found not guilty of burning down the Fantoft Stave Church.
* RockMeAsmodeus: Vikernes has criticised the prevalence of this trope in BlackMetal, claiming ([[JerkassHasAPoint mostly correctly]]) that there were no genuine historical examples of Satan worship; all recorded historical examples before around the 20th century prove to have been pagan practices that were literally demonised. However, he played this straight early in his career with songs such as "Dominus Sathanas" and "As Flittermice as Satans Spys" (a Music/{{Darkthrone}} song for which he wrote lyrics). He claims that these songs were using Satanic imagery as a metaphor for Odin.
* SelfTitledAlbum: ''Burzum''.
* SopranoAndGravel: While most of his vocals are the typical HarshVocals of black metal, there are occasional sung or spoken parts thrown in for variety and effect. ''Umskiptar'' actually contains more clean singing than metal screams.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Some of the official song titles don't match the most commonly used Norwegian spellings, likely because the font Varg used didn't have the å and ø characters. Examples include "En ring til aa herske" (would typically be spelt "En ring til å herske"), "Naar himmelen klarner" (typically spelt "Når himmelen klarner"), "Belus' doed" (typically spelt "Belus' død"), "Morgenroede" (typically spelt "Morgenrøde"), and so on. Varg's spellings aren't even always consistent with each other, as demonstrated by the album ''Det som engang var'' versus the song "Det som en gang var". (Note that there are several different dialects of Norwegian, and spellings aren't always standardised between them. The most commonly ''written'' is Bokmål by far, with Nynorsk being a distant second; however, most speakers don't actually ''speak'' either Bokmål or Nynorsk as written, but rather a regional dialect that identifies their origins.)
* SpokenWordInMusic: This doesn't show up all that often, but some of his songs use it.
* StageNames: Originally, Varg was known as "Count [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Grishnackh]]".
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: The ambient instrumentals.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: All of Burzum's music is extremely minimalistic, stripped-down and repetitive - most songs are just cycles of two or three recurring riffs. The same principle extends to the production quality, which is deliberately bare and lo-fi - for the recording of the ''Filosofem'' album, he even forwent using a guitar amp, instead plugging his guitar into the speaker of his brother's old hi-fi.
* TitleTrack: Somewhat confusingly, ''Det som engang var'' does not feature the track "Det som en gang var" (note the slight spelling difference): that song didn't make an appearance until his next album, ''Hvis lyset tar oss''. Played straight on ''Hvis lyset tar oss'', ''Dauði Baldrs'', and ''The Ways of Yore'', and PlayedWith on ''Sôl austan, Mâni vestan'' (which has two songs featuring each half of the title). The others avert it completely. (Note that he also had a ''song'' originally named "Burzum", which does not appear on his SelfTitledAlbum; it was retitled "Dunkelheit" and appears on ''Filosofem'').
* TropeMaker: For ambient black metal (as mentioned above), alongside Ildjarn.
* UrExample: For ambient and depressive black metal, arguably.

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