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BURZUM-2


BURZUM


"Umskiptar"

by Octopi Mills


"Finding inspiration from the verses of famous Scandinavia poem “Voluspa,” Umskiptar is a return-to-roots album. Notes Vikernes: “The vocals are more important than on any previous album with a total of 66 stanzas making up the album’s lyrics.”

This is what the promo states, and with that I begin the journey of this review before me, which was an adventure I truly did not expect.

It opens with spoken word narration, and drum and "Bloostokkinn" initiates the listener to the album's craft, though subtle at first and ordinary. "Joln" (translates as deities) begins and there is a wonderful percussion arranged throughout.The music has the "Belus"/"Fallen" ancestry; the consanguinity of the bass, guitar, sound and vocals..and then things start happening- great things...

There is a strange laughing; giant like and like the gods are high above us, or somewhere low, and below us somehow. The guitar work is in the traditional repetition of black metal; like swordplay they dance and slash in this fashion.
"Alfadanz" (elven dance), opens with keys and enters a series of cosmic sounding guitars, arranged in an orchestrational sense, and it is pure elemental metal; ascending and descending guitars vocals done in such a manner that is indication of the progression heard on the last 3 albums, indeed, but at a level of mastery now...

Werebear vocals narrate and at times it sounds like giants and trolls battling, and Varg uses these voicings as well as what I shall now describe as his norse father vocals. The song is closed off with keys, like the passage in a book;a  good book of sagas written in a manner as to tell a story amd capturing the feeling of folklore, stone and the norse lands much like a painter or carver would...

"Hit helga tre": the sacred tree continues the adventure and guitars form thoughts and twist like roots; slow growing limbs and strands of DNA, stretch out to the listener and grasp like branches from old pages new.At this point one has noticed the production values are worthy of great praise as with the way it is masterfully arranged all together, and it is surely to be the best studio album of 2012. The old and new come together and there is an organic sound thus arranged more like a composer would do- or a film maker or script writer.

I like the lonely bumbling vocals...the fifth track "Aera"  has somber bass strings and a tone/sound of the bass recorded in a manner that shows the man is proficient in this area...honour is the theme of the track and now Esteem. The strings and bass set the feel, with the vocals capturing the adventurer...

By the 7th song  "Valgaldr" ,the album's magic still lives and is more strong in presence, and now burns like a strange, colorful spell or fire as a tale is told by the shamanic vocals and it is "a song of the fallen" which now makes it apparent that the man has reached a new level as a vocalist, truly in becoming something of a transformation that cannot be explained but must be felt. It is a beautiful song... chanting and lonely calls from haunted quarters of man's soul...there is a deep longing in the piece, as if a creature is crying; like a fox's awful call who is dying in the forest and going through something sacred like death...this is my favorite Burzum song now and  ever...

 The energy is maintained for another good song; sad and dirge like....the bass once again is commendable, and made to be of true use; he shows this is an instrument that can indeed be played with a level of interest and mastery if one has the feel of it, which Vikernes translates well on all instruments here. There is a balance and one gets the feeling this man is true composer as well as a vocalist and lyricist that is one of a kind, and he has finally found that which he sought in this work, for so long....

"Galgvior"  is another great, epic song with "clean" vocals capturing a special  Norse mood....The guitars are inspiring and speak.They recall old Burzum at times, though with a better sound which is something that can be said again about this whole album. By now I am surely convinced this is that is is the best Burzum album yet and "Gulladr"  is another slower, sad piece and keeps the magic of the album before the warning sounds and ending narration of the last track and one walks away  feeling he has heard something great in the album world...something missing for awhile.

This will  of no doubt, not only prove the best Burzum album ever, but the man's best work in every way as you will surely see. Indeed, my fellows...-yes-it sounds like "Belus" and "Fallen", but it surpasses these in infinite ways and one can see the man has reached what he sought forever here.It is almost a literary work, taking one somewhere as a good book or poem...These are lonely songs that open up like the pages of a great tale, told by someone who is a valuable product of their land and element as a muscian and such.This will be remembered like a skald's tale; as the man's progression as a pioneer-Perhaps, even, as one of the most important metal albums of the age.

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