Boomkat Product Review:
Burzum’s return to the black metal fray continues with ‘Umskiptar’, and like its predecessor ‘Fallen’ Varg Vikernes’ vocals are stripped of the distortion and saturation usually associated with them and given a frightening full-focus. Varg has described the record as a return to the roots of black metal, and certainly there is a sense on tracks like ‘Alfadanz’ that he has returned to the formula that made records like ‘Filosofem’ so widely respected. However the new clarity to his vocals makes the record undeniably spine-chilling; without added grit Varg’s voice is even more angry and demonic than you would have ever thought possible. Even going back to the primal black metal of his early days, Varg has still found it within himself to layer ‘Umskiptar’ with the harrowing pagan textures you’d hope to find on any latter-day Burzum record. And when the record comes to a poignant close on ‘Nidhoggr’ with its beating tribal drum and aching woodwind textures you become aware that this is far more than simply black metal.