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Burzum is a musical project by Varg Vikernes (originally under the pseudonym "Count Grishnackh"). It began during 1991 in Bergen, Norway and quickly became prominent within the early Norwegian black metal scene.[1] During 1992 and 1993, Burzum recorded four albums; however, in 1994 Vikernes was convicted and imprisoned for the murder of guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth and the arson of several churches. While imprisoned, Vikernes recorded two studio albums in the dark ambient style, using only synthesized instruments.



The word "burzum" means "darkness" in the fictional Black Speech language invented by J. R. R. Tolkien for use in The Lord of the Rings.


Early years (1991–1993)

From 1989, Vikernes had been playing in the short lived band Old Funeral which also consisted of members who would later form the band Immortal. He played guitar in the band until 1991 when he left to form his one man band, Burzum. Soon after recording two demo tapes, he became very involved with the Norwegian black metal scene, being both interested in its music and the ideology. With his demo tapes, he had attracted attention from Øystein Aarseth of Mayhem, who had just recently formed Deathlike Silence Productions. Aarseth then signed Burzum to the label, and shortly after, Burzum began to record for his self-titled debut album. According to Vikernes' autobiography on his website, he had intended to record the album in the worst recording quality possible (due to this being a typical trademark of the early Norwegian black metal scene), though still make it sound acceptable. Burzum's eponymous debut album was released in 1992, being the second album released on Deathlike Silence Productions. The song "War" from this album had a guest appearance from Euronymous of Mayhem, playing a guitar solo "just for fun", according to Vikernes.

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