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Burzum: Umskiptar

The other day, Candlelight Records sent me the new Burzum album Umskiptar. So, I told my fiancee we were going for a ride on the back roads to go exploring. What could be better than roaming around where banjos are played loudly in the night whilest listening to some Burzum?! We got in the car, I rolled down the windows a bit, turned up the volume, and proceeded to realize that Umskiptar is just not good road Metal…

Don’t get me wrong, I love to slower material that Burzum weaves, and some of the songs on here are great, like “Joln.” But, this release largely seems to be a spoken word album with slower, simple Black Metal aside the more aggressive song, but even those have narrative. And, considering it isn’t in English and I don’t know any other language, it’s hard for me to really get what’s going on. I’m certain the music has a purpose, but unfortunately it is lost on me.

On top of this fact, Umskiptar is an hour and five minutes long, and I’ve heard this release three times. I didn’t really find much atmosphere to it that kept me intrigued, though some songs did have a bit of a cold tone to them, but that was minimal at best. By the end of my third listen, I reached over and threw in an old Exodus album on the way back just to wake me up a bit.

But, this isn’t to say Umskiptar is bad. In fact, as I type this, I’m listening to it again. While it’s not the best in Burzum‘s discography from what I can tell, it does hold some weight when you actually kick back with the sole intention of listening to it, and doing nothing else aside perhaps deciphering the lyrics and narrative. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel it on the road. In fact much of this album had me bored behind the wheel, which isn’t a good thing as that’s when I start doing things I probably shouldn’t be doing, like chasing (not not harming) random animals while barking like a dog, going off roading, and shouting things at random people walking by.

So, if you get this, keep it out of your car for long drives. Burzum fans will surely like this release, but it’s not one you’ll want to have with you if you have a long day of being on the road, or even for short journeys. Sadly, Umskiptar is not good Road Metal.

Article based on digital review material provided by Candlelight Records.