Burzum. The name alone stands for so much more than just a band. Their significance in the black metal scene dates back to the early beginnings. Not only known for being one of the black metal pioneers in music but also for the events that their singer Varg Vikernes took in place. Everyone knows the story of what happened with the murder & his jail sentence, it’s a big part of history which has also influenced & shaped this band over the years. Those events have also struck a core to certain die-hard fans and forever will their name live in infamy for what Varg did. Burzum is now only fronted by Varg and has released the latest album “Umskiptar.” The 11 track cd is the bands latest work since “Fallen” (2011).
“Blóðstokkinn,” this is the intro off the album that starts off with a quiet distant drum & clean Norwegian vocals speaking. “Jóln,” the first track off the album starts off with a very classic sounding guitar rift & again we hear Vargs beautiful calming voice. The song has a very dark ambient sound quality about it which is what Burzum is all about. “Alfadanz,” begins with a very pretty piano intro which then is followed by the same rift on guitar. The song has a very enchanting quality about it that will really get your attention. The piano sound is very delicate and the rest of the song is very dark. It’s on of those songs that you’ll fall in love with because of its charm. “Hit helga Tré,” is a very classic black metal sounding track that everyone will find very pleasant. “Era,” is a great song it has a bit more of a raw sound to it and at about 0.57 sec you can hear Varg’s scream that sounds like he’s in pain & agony. The song has a deep feeling to it and to most Americans who do not understand Norwegian we can only guess what deep profound things he is saying. “Heiðr,” again we hear Vargs majestic voice followed by an elegant guitar rifts that fades in the background and plays throughout the song. Personally loved the rift it has a very ominous tone about it.
“Valgaldr,” is a very gloomy sounding song off the album & has again great guitar rifts it’s a very mellow calm song that’s very appeasing. “Galgviðr” & “Surtr Sunnan,” are great heavy songs off the album. “Gullaldr,” is a very slow track off the cd. It has very deep intense energy and it transcends you into a deep state of mind. Finally the last track “Níðhöggr,” is just the outro which again has faint drums and fads away.
“Umskiptar” is a different from Burzum’s previous album. After listening to the whole thing I noticed there was almost no actual black metal vocals. The album is very dark atmospheric music that has its own beauty. The rifts and clean vocals were very dark in a different type of way then the band usually portray. The album is an amazing piece of work because it really sends you into another dimension when you listen to it. I loved it although it is a different direction than previous work. Fans should listen because it the progression, the evolution of what Burzum has become it’s what Varg has fabricated because if we all do remember its thanks to him we have been able to listen to the bands amazing music throughout the years.
Track List (personal picks **)
4. Hit helga Tré
9. Surtr Sunnan