|Review: Burzum - Umskiptar|
Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Pagan Metal
Review online: June 9, 2012
Reviewed by: MetalMike
The name Varg Vikernes should be well known to just about everyone even remotely familiar with Heavy Metal over the last 20 years, even if his band, Burzum, isn't. Umskiptar is Burzum's 10th studio album and the first I've heard. Given Vikernes' infamous past someone new to Burzum might assume Umskiptar would be full of raw, evil Black Metal, and, to be fair, there are good amounts of harsh vocals and tremolo-picked guitars. However, the album also features clean singing/narration and earthy sound effects. The lyrics are based on a Norse poem, Völuspá, but as they are sung in Norwegian, the actual gist of the story is a mystery.
Umskiptar contains several long songs that are actually too long. A lot of the ideas are repeated and as many aren't very engaging in the first place, the album is a bit dull. There's plenty of moody, dark atmosphere but it is mostly just depressing as opposed to creating a powerful emotional statement. If that was what Vikernes was going for he was successful, but unless slow, sparse and sometimes plodding Pagan Metal with Black influences is your thing, you might not find Umskiptar all that appealing.
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