It’s going to be difficult to separate Varg Vikernes’ music and his past. Based on a Norse poem, “Umskiptar” (metamorphosis) is perhaps representative of the transformation he has attempted on this album. This is not a black metal album, in the stereotypical sense of the word, although many of the musical passages are dark and heavy there is also an unexpected grasp of melody and atmosphere.
As its stands this is a record that his advocates will no doubt graviate towards. For the rest of us it’s a mildly diverting, although not earth shattering, opus. One for filing under “curio”.