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iTunes Review

To mark the release of 2012’s Umskiptar—Burzum’s fourth post-prison album—Varg Vikernes took to calling his music “scaldic metal,” a reference to the ancient bardic traditions of his native Norway. Though Vikernes’s intention was to distance himself from the black metal scene that he'd helped invent, “scaldic” is an apt term for the music on Umpskiptar, which is more focused on atmosphere and lyrics than any of Burzum’s previous works. Tracks like “Aera,” “Heidr,” and “Surtr Sunnan” are more like monologues set to music than traditional songs, as Varg adopts a stoic half-spoken rasp to illustrate excerpts from the 10th-century pagan poem “Völuspá,” one of the foundational sources of Norse mythology. For the most part, Varg here abandons the seething screams that made him famous—but that doesn’t mean the music is less intense. With squalls of uneasy guitars, “Joln,” “Alfadanz,” and “Hit Helga Tre” get to the essence of Burzum. Meanwhile, “Valgaldr" and “Gullaldr”—songs informed by ancient chants—push Burzum’s interest in pagan ritual to new realms of spookiness.

Customer Reviews

Breathtaking from start to finish!!

Honestly, I'm not gonna beat around the bush, this album will appeal to half the group of Burzum fans but won't to the other half, and won't appeal to anyone who isn't into Burzum. For me, this is just an amazing work of art at best, and it clearly demonstrates Varg's progression with all of the instruments you hear, this seems more mature than the old Burzum which is good ( Don't get me wrong I LOVE old Burzum ), but don't look for another self-entitled like album or filosofem which a number of people said that this album is like which it is not. Also to the guy who said that this album from a story telling point of view doesn't appear to him cause it's in Norwegian, I just wanted to clear up that it's not in Norwegian, it's Icelandic.

Not a sequel to 'Depths of Darkness'

I bought Burzum's late 2011'From the Depths of Darkness' release, a collection of re-recorded early Burzum classics and liked it a lot. I was hoping this would along the same lines, but after heavily previewing all of the tracks I'll pass. The clean-ish vocals are just a little too prominent in the mix for me and I would like some more droning, fuzzy, bleak atmosphere like say, Leviathan or Xasthur. Maybe I just want a different band.
A rule of thumb I have is that if I don't believe I'll listen to it more than once I'll pass and that is the case here, especially for the money. I'd rather pick up the latest In Mourning or the more competitively priced Borngaker release.
I think Burzum is a band (or rather a single person) I respect more than actually listen to. Sorry.


If you REALLY appreciate Norse mythology sagas and stories than this album is for you. I do appreciate the sagas, but I don't understand Norwegian, so I cannot appreciate this album for what it is intended to do. I am well aware that Varg's other albums have been in Norwegian as well, but compared to Belus and Valen, Umskiptar is strickly a storytelling album meaning, that is the main focus. If you don't speak Norwegian, this albums music is unfortunatley not worth the cost.


Formed: Bergen, Norway

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Burzum is the one-man project of Varg Vikernes (born Christian Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh), perhaps the most notorious figure in Norwegian black metal. Although Burzum had an unpredictably experimental bent -- encompassing black metal, industrial, electronic, and dark ambient music -- Vikernes will forever be associated with his conviction for the 1993 murder of former Mayhem bandmate Euronymous. It wasn't the first time Vikernes had run afoul of the law; he had been a suspect in arsons directed...
Full Bio
Umskiptar, Burzum
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock
  • Released: May 21, 2012

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