MAY 25th 2012

Review by:
Metal Mom

Record Label - Byelobog Productions
Release date - May 21, 2012

Umskiptar (Old Norse for Metamorphoses) is the 10th studio album by Burzum (Varg Vikernes) who has been called the most notorious black metal musician of all time. This Cd as Varg Vikerness says is a “return to the roots”, with priority on atmosphere. The lyrics here are taken from an Old Norse poem called “Voluspa.” Let me tell you what I found on Voluspa…(Old Norse Voluspa, Prophecy of the Volva (Seeress); Modern Icelandic, reconstructed Old Norse, is the first and best known poem of the Poetic Edda. It tells the story of the creation of the world and its coming end related by a volva addressing Odin. It is one of the most important primary sources for the study of Norse mythology.

Okay, in all fairness, I have never listened to Burzum, but have heard all the stories surrounding Varg, you know, the one where he has spent some time in a Norwegian jail for murdering former Mayhem bandmate Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth in 1993. Vikernes was further convicted of four counts of arson involving the burnings of historic churches, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison. So I have nothing to compare this one to, which also has its merits when reviewing a CD.

Tracks are - (English names in brackets)

1. Blóðstokkinn (Soaked in Blood)
2. Jóln (Deities)
3. Alfadanz (Elven Dance)
4. Hit helga Tré (The Sacred Tree)
5. Æra (Honour)
6. Heiðr (Esteem)
7. Valgaldr (Song of the Fallen)
8. Galgviðr (Gallow Forest)
9. Surtr Sunnan (Black from the South)
10. Gullaldr (Golden Age)
11. Níðhöggr (Attack from Below)

Total length - 65:13

First I do like that its done in his language, makes for a more interesting album. There are 11 songs here totalling a full hour and some. Umskiptar was recorded September 2011 at Grieg Hall in Bergen, Norway. Musically it sounds more folk metal, folk rock and some good old black metal in there as well. I did enjoy the talking choice that he made, felt like he was telling a story, just that I couldn’t understand him. For me this cd was just something way out of the ordinary, something that was completely different, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad, I think you have to make your own opinion on this one. I am sorry, but in truth, I cant make up my mind, sometimes I enjoy it , and other times, well its not something that I will sit and listen to, but it all depends on your mood, I have a variety of music that I listen to, so it fits in and gives me that added diversity. I am on the fence for this one. So I will leave this one up to you.