Actually, there are enduring similarities in technique and structure between European folk traditions (particularly instrumental folk) and the classical tradition. During the medieval and Renaissance eras, there essentially was no difference at all between the music of court and church and the music of the peasant fairs. The differences that entered later were largely cosmetic, and a result, not of fundamentally different music or concept, but of court composers having more instruments and players at their disposal. The 'high culture/low culture' dichotomy didn't emerge during the productive centuries of classical music, rather, it developed out of the social millieu of the first 3 decades of the 20th century. This era saw the bourgeoisie finally emerge as the dominant force. The social insecurity of the bourgeoisie manifested itself in the attempt to create a false sense of seperation from the working classes, thus the invention of the 'high culture/low culture' split (contrast this with the previous centuries where classical composers demonstrated a deep and abiding respect for and a willingness to borrow wholesale from the folk traditions of Europe). The element which unites all classical music in all eras has been and remains the heroic ethos, the struggle to create meaning and thus transcend the human condition (that is, a condition where meaninglessness and death are the fundamental realities). You argued that The Chasm's work is harmonically less developed than any era of classical composing, when, in fact, it is MORE developed than that of Baroque or even most Classical era compositions. Note that I said "some" not all, but it was quite common, PARTICULARLY in the Baroque and Classical eras, to repeat a theme throughout a piece and then introduce change not by altering the theme itself, but by alternating instruments, dynamics or key. The landscape around the theme is altered rather than the theme itself. Burzum's work is not in this style, and tends to follow more the pattern of an evolutionary development of a theme (or series of themes, as is the case in pieces like "Det som engang var") rather than using the theme itself to anchor movement around the theme (i.e. reflecting more or less the tradition of incidental music). 1. I've already addressed the question of "stage tricks" elsewhere. It's not pejorative. 2. This is a reality that has been internalized by everyone working primarily in recorded media, just as screen actors have internalized the less flambouyant style the film requires by watching the performance of other screen actors over the last 60-70 years. I never said their weren't, but these are among the most common. The melodic content of the music of most eras is also quite simple, extremely complex melody lines was a conceit primarily of the Baroque era and of a handful of Romantic composers who were instrumental virtuosos first and composers second. The climactic moments of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 are driven by a "ridiculously basic" melody line, and therein lies its power. Rock riffs are blues riffs. Burzum's riffs are certainly not out of the blues tradition. There is plenty of attention payed to harmonic construction, Varg merely keeps harmonies simple and open in the manner of the medieval music he is trying to evoke.