fattigmannen

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1994. Hvis lyset tar oss

Hvis lyset tar oss (Norwegian for If the Light Takes Us) is the third album by solo project Burzum. It was recorded in September 1992, but was not released until April 1994, whereupon it was released through Misanthropy Records and Vikernes’ own record label, Cymophane Productions. The album is considered a classic in the black metal scene.

Varg Vikernes recorded the first four Burzum albums between January 1992 and March 1993 at the Grieg Hall in Bergen. However, the releases were spread out, with many months between the recording and the release of each album. During this time, Vikernes became a part of the early Norwegian black metal scene and befriended Mayhem guitarist Euronymous. The two developed a feud that culminated in Vikernes stabbing Euronymous to death in his apartment building in Oslo in August 1993. He was arrested a few days later and, in May 1994, was sentenced to 21 years (the maximum sentence in Norway) in prison for murder and several church arsons.

The album cover features a drawing by 19th century artist Theodor Kittelsen named Fattigmannen (The Pauper). Vikernes dedicated the album to Fenriz of fellow band Darkthrone and “Demonas”, possibly referring to Demonaz from band Immortal. 

According to Vikernes, Hvis lyset tar oss is a concept album, about:

[…] what once was, before the light took us and we rode into the castle of the dream. Into emptiness. It’s something like: beware the Christian light, it will take you away into degeneracy and nothingness. What others call light I call darkness. Seek the darkness and hell and you will find nothing but evolution. 

Hvis Lyset Tar Oss is one of greatest black metal album ever released, and its opening track, Det som en gang var, one of greatest black metal song ever recorded. 

Varg Vikernes are Burzum, and Burzum by definition is Darkness, the shining of a unique light into a shadowy world where seas of sound are all alike. The music of the Darkness lights the way of those who care to listen, and the music of the Darkness is Burzum.

Fattigmannen by Theodor Kittelsen (1894-96).

[…]Kommer det nogen? − − var det ikke det han syn’s.

Deroppe i svingen kommer en gammal kroget kjærring,
med rive og lime.

Hun rokker med hodet, kommer lige paa ham.
Ser ham ind i synet med stikkende, skjelende, onde øine.
Gir ham en vissen skjælvende haand, bare skind og ben, gulgraa og fuld af blaasorte flækker.

[…]Comes someone? − − wasn’t that what he thought.

Up there in the road comes an old, crooked hag,
with rake and broom.

She shakes her head, comes right up at him.
Looks him in the eye with piercing, squinting, evil eyes. 
Gives him a withered shaking hand, only skin and bones, yellowgrey and full of blackblue spots.