As for his recording career, Vikernes issued the eponymous Burzum debut in 1992 under his Count Grishnackh alias (taken from a J.R.R. Tolkien book); it was largely a typical black metal record, although it featured a few synth dabblings and slower passages, neither of which had yet found much favor on the scene. 1993's Det Som Engang Var expanded on those innovations while retaining an overall metal flavor. Hvis Lyset Tar Oss (If the Light Takes Us), released in 1994 shortly after Vikernes' imprisonment, integrated synthesizers more fully into the Burzum sound, and the all-electronic closing track foreshadowed Burzum's later move into dark ambient. The well-received, industrial/electronic-tinged Filosofem appeared in 1996, although it had been recorded (but not mixed) prior to Vikernes' incarceration.
With the vaults thus exhausted, Burzum's future appeared to be in doubt, but Vikernes managed to begin recording entirely instrumental synthesizer albums while in prison. A concept work recounting a well-known Norse myth, Daudi Baldrs (Balder's Death), was released in 1997 as the first installment of a planned trilogy. The second portion, the mythology-themed Hlidskjalf, appeared in 1999, featuring an equipment upgrade and a correspondingly fuller sound.