Burzum (/ˈbɜːrzəm/; Norwegian: [ˈbʉrtsʉm]) is a musical project of Norwegian musician and writer Varg Vikernes. Vikernes began making music in 1988, but it was not until 1991 that he recorded his first demos as Burzum. The word "burzum" means "darkness" in the Black Speech, a fictional language crafted by Lord of the Rings writer J. R. R. Tolkien. The project became a part of the early Norwegian black metal scene and is one of the most influential acts in black metal.
Vikernes recorded the first four Burzum albums between January 1992 and March 1993. However, the releases were spread out, with many months between the recording and the release of each album. In May 1994, Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth and the arson of three churches.
While imprisoned, Vikernes recorded two dark ambient albums using only synthesizers, as he did not have access to drums, guitar or bass. Since his release from prison in 2009, he has recorded three further black metal albums and several ambient/electronic albums.
Although Vikernes is known for his white nationalist political views, he does not use Burzum to promote those views, and his lyrics are non-political. Burzum has never performed live and Vikernes says he has no intention of doing so. However, in a video posted on Vikernes' official YouTube page he stated Burzum will be touring from June 2016 in a joint tour with his former band Mayhem called "The Mythic Fantasy Tour" with 60 dates planned. However this was regarded to be an April Fools' Day joke.