Burzum - "Umskiptar" (2012)



Byelobog Prods.


Everyone who listens to metal at least 3 days knows Burzum, so let me skip the introduction.
“Belus” was a true masterpiece for me, an album that I can listen all day without getting bored. “Fallen” was good, but in my opinion too soft; I have nothing against “soft” music, but it has to be addictive, and “Fallen” is just a nice piece of music, but nothing more. And now, there is time to rate last metal album of Burzum – “Umskiptar”.
Well, it’s definitely better than previous LP. The first novelty is the intro, with usage of horns. But beside that, the folk-like themes appears only in singing and guitar riffs. You can clearly hear it in “Galgvidr” with very melancholic vocals.
But most of tracks bases on typical “burzumish” riffing. Varg has his own style of making riffs, and as always they sound simply great. This time songs are much more monotonous and slower. Thanks to production, they sound a bit psychedelic. It creates a very moody aura, intensified even more thanks to bass – it sounds very soft, and is on the prominence position. Sometimes it can create a really stirring atmosphere – just listen to a song titled “Heidr”.
This track contains also many declamations (which shouldn’t be a big surprise, as lyrics are just a part of old Icelandic poem “Voluspa”). They are in almost every track, and are building a very specific climate, when e.g. they are mixed with heavy, slow riffs (like in “Alfadanz”). Other vocals are in vain of the “new” Burzum – they sounds like a howling of some old, far spirit and in my opinion Varg has done fantastic job with them. Happily there is no so many clean singing as on “Fallen”. Even if it appears, it’s just a good add to nostalgic aura (as in “Gullaldr”).
Also from time to time we can hear a reminiscences of Vikernes’ older work – e.g. riff in " Surtr Sunnan" recalls a bit „The Crying Orc”.
The album sounds very good, but to be honest sometimes it can be too monotonous, and simply boring. It's happening due to the fact that it is not so diverse as "Belus" was, or simply older Burzum's albums. "Umskiptar is in my opinion also a bit too long. Listenning to this longplay will be surely a good experience, but I wouldn't say that I will listen to it day after day...

Rate: 7+/10

1. Blodstokkin
2. Joln
3. Alfadanz
4. Hit Helga Tre
5. Aera
6. Heidr
7. Valgaldr
8. Galgvidr
9. Surtr Sunnan
10. Gullaldr
11. Nidhoggr

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