Burzum – Umskiptar [5 out of 10]

By Tyler Crooks

The word “legendary” is thrown around a lot in the metal scene, but what makes a true legend? Varg Vikernes is the prime example of a legitimate legend. From his roots in Mayhem, to the murder of Euronymous, Varg has created a legacy that no one can possibly ever touch. Varg’s newest album “Umskiptar” is another chapter in his historical tome. The album begins simply; Varg speaking poetically in Norwegian while a simple 2-hit drum beat loops in the background. The whole of Umskiptar is a very interesting album. There are tracks like “Joln,” which are very reminiscent of early Burzum, and then there are tracks like “Valgaldr,” which sound like classic Burzum with modern elements thrown in.

Varg took some very strange musical risks on this album, as there are very few black metal songs on the album.  The first half is all ambient black metal; Burzum as we know it. The other half, however, is all poetry with light music playing in the background; a very strange concept, but Varg manages to make it work somehow. The poetry is actually quite beautiful, and the black metal material on the album is pure Burzum.

My only problem with the album is that it doesn’t really feel like Burzum. I feel like you get just a little taste of Burzum, which all seems to run together after awhile, and about 45 minutes of Varg just kind of talking.

Would I recommend this album to someone just getting into Burzum? Not at all. But it’s a decent album for what it is, and Varg definitely has a knack for making poetry a little more metal.

Rating: 5/10
[Click here to check out the album on Amazon]

Record Label: Candlelight
Release Date: May 22nd 2012

Track Listing:
1. Blóðstokkinn (1:16)
2. Jóln (5:51)
3. Alfadanz (9:22)
4. Hit helga Tré (6:51)
5. Æra (3:58)
6. Heiðr (3:02)
7. Valgaldr (8:03)
8. Galgviðr (7:16)
9. Surtr Sunnan (4:14)
10. Gullaldr (10:20)
11. Níðhöggr (5:00)