Burzum - Umskiptar review
|Release date:||May 2012|
04. Hit Helga Tré
09. Surtr Sunnan
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".
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