Burzum - Umskiptar review


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Band: Burzum
Album: Umskiptar
Release date: May 2012

01. Blóðstokkinn
02. Jóln
03. Alfadanz
04. Hit Helga Tré
05. Æra
06. Heiðr
07. Valgaldr
08. Galgviðr
09. Surtr Sunnan
10. Gullaldr
11. Níðhöggr

Another year passes, another Burzum album is released. Since Varg Vikernes, the most controversial Norwegian figure, has been released on probation from jail, he managed to put a new album every year and 2012, the year when the Mayan "apocalypse" is supposed to take place, is no exception.

I do not know what Varg has been doing in jail. For 11 years he hasn't released a new record and in 2010 we get Belus and one year later Fallen. What can we say about Umskiptar? A new direction? Maybe, but not quite. Is it good or not? Depends on the individual. Since this is my own review I have to admit that when I listened to it first, I wasn't impressed but after a couple of auditions, I get that even Varg tries to take a step towards innovation.

If you ever listened to Filosofem or Det Som Engang Var, you will find the same feeling in this album. Burzum did not change its musical style that we all know. However, there are some influences that are rather new and fans of older material will surely not appreciate or it will take some time until they can digest it. But why I am making this comparison? This album still has the same traits the previous ones had: repetitive riffs anchored in a cold atmosphere and some rare vocal interventions.

If you've listened to Bathory's later albums such as Nordland I and Nordland II, then you might actually like this album since Umskiptar has some neo-folk and viking metal influences. What is important is that the result is the same; it is the style that made Burzum notorious, no doubt. It requires some patience in order to understand it, thus, just a single audition is not enough. Those that are acquainted with Current 93 might find some influences of their music in Umskiptar, too.

The production of this album was handled by Pytten (Eirik Hundvin), known for his involvement in producing some black metal classics such as Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas or Emperor's In The Nightside Eclipse.

In conclusion, fans of older Burzum might not be delighted after listening to this album. Those that are new with Burzum will surely appreciate this album since it has a better production quality compared to the early ones. Those used with Bathory might also find interest in Umskiptar. For all categories, my advice, give it more than just one audition before forming a conclusion.

Highlights: "Alfadanz", "Joln", "Valgaldr", "Surtr Sunnan", "Gullaldr".

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by ManiacBlasphemer | 27.10.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Troy Killjoy
Imagine this: During a weekend away from home, you decided to hit up as many fast food restaurants as humanly possible. But not just the major chains. You also make stops at all the small franchised take-out places that put the Triple Whopper to shame. You keep consuming and consuming until your stomach feels like it's been filled with bricks...

published 11.05.2012 | Comments (161)


Comments: 2   Visited by: 95 users
05.11.2012 - 16:56
Ah finally an album that brought back the old feeling back.... Certainly an improvement over the past two albums, and its good to see him keeping the Burzum sound pretty much consistent with this release.. I'm satisfied and nice review btw
25.12.2012 - 19:40
Prefer choose "Fallen"album .:noidea: And for dark ambient genre prefer choose " Hliðskjálf".

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