The term 'Burzum' first appeared in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. It means 'darkness' in the Black Speech created by Sauron. The first Burzum album takes the early Bathory sound and imbues it with Varg's conceptual ideas, auditory landscapes that reflected the birthing of evil from the womb of Mordor as described in Tolkien's writings. It's cold and desolate, a soundtrack to pain and decay. It's a little uneven compared to his later works but remains an essential purchase for anyone interested in the Norwegian Black Metal scene.