Song of the Week: “Jesu Død” by Burzum

by Douglas Cowie on 6 December 2013

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Jesu Død” by Burzum:

Burzum — “Jesu Død”

Earlier this week I read an essay entitled “Ragnarök on the Seine” by Justin E.H. Smith on The American Reader website about Kristian Vikernes, the main musician behind Norwegian black metal band Burzum.  Vikernes is a convicted murderer who now lives in France, and is facing trial for promoting racial hatred and other related crimes. As Justin Smith’s fascinating essay makes clear, the story is a lot more complicated than that, and if you have a spare half an hour, I recommend reading it.

In the middle of the essay, Smith discusses, briefly, Burzum’s music, and the potentially thorny problem of liking music produced by someone whose sociopolitical and moral outlook is at best dubious, and he sets “Jesu Død” as an example. I don’t intend to go into that debate here, but in trying to get to the heart of the matter, Smith is met, twice, with the assessment: “Burzum rocks.”

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