"Filosofem" was the last album Burzum recorded before Vikernes' murder arrest in 1993, however it was not released until 1996. The album is noted for its experimental sound when compared to most other second-wave black metal. It is widely considered to be the artist's "masterpiece" and his most raw sound. During the recording process, he asked for the worst equipment possible to keep his songs fuzzy and static-driven. He ended up using an old helicopter headset to record vocals in place of a microphone.
Burzum was a Norwegian music project founded by artist Varg Vikernes in 1991. Although Burzum never played live performances, he became a huge part of the early Norwegian metal scene and is still considered one of the most influential bands in black metal's history. His music includes both straightforward black metal as well as dark ambient, neofolk, and neo-medieval music. Vikernes has described Burzum as a recreation of an imaginary world tied in with Pagan history. He claims that every album was designed as a kind of "spell" in itself, with each song intending to make the listener more susceptible to "magic", inspire a trance-like state of mind, and carry you into a world of fantasy. The word "Burzum" means "darkness" in the black speech, a fictional language crafted by Lord of the Rings writer J. R. R. Tolkien. Burzum's lyrics and imagery were inspired by fantasy and Norse mythology and luckily do not feature the extreme right-wing and neo-nazi political views Vikernes is known for. Burzum was a completely solo project until 1993 when Vikernes was imprisoned for the murder of Mayhem guitarist, Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth, and for the arson of three churches in Norway. While imprisoned, he recorded two dark ambient albums using only synthesizers, as he had no access to instruments.