MYRKUR

Atmospheric Black Metal / Non-Metal • Denmark
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Myrkur is a one-woman black metal band from Denmark. Myrkur's identity was the subject of much speculation at the start of her career but was quickly revealed to be Amalie Bruun, a Danish born resident of New York who is best known as a member of the pop act Ex Cops and a sometime model. She combines the rawness of bands like Darkthrone and the ambient styles of artists like Sigur Ros. She released her debut EP on September 16th 2014.

Her debut full-length studio album titled 'M' was released in August of 2015 to much critical acclaim on various metal publications.

(Biography written by Unitron on September 16th 2014, Updated by adg211288, September 23rd 2014)
Thanks to Unitron for the addition

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MareridtMareridt
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Relapse 2014
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MYRKUR Discography

MYRKUR albums / top albums

MYRKUR M album cover 3.99 | 13 ratings
M
Atmospheric Black Metal 2015
MYRKUR Mareridt album cover 4.08 | 13 ratings
Mareridt
Atmospheric Black Metal 2017

MYRKUR EPs & splits

MYRKUR Myrkur album cover 4.28 | 3 ratings
Myrkur
Atmospheric Black Metal 2014
MYRKUR Mausoleum album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Mausoleum
Non-Metal 2016

MYRKUR live albums

MYRKUR demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MYRKUR Skaði album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skaði
Atmospheric Black Metal 2014

MYRKUR re-issues & compilations

MYRKUR singles (7)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Nattens Barn
Atmospheric Black Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Onde børn
Atmospheric Black Metal 2015
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Den lille piges død
Atmospheric Black Metal 2015
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 ratings
Två Konungabarn
Non-Metal 2017
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Måneblôt
Atmospheric Black Metal 2017
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ulvinde
Atmospheric Black Metal 2017
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
De Tre Piker
Non-Metal 2017

MYRKUR movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MYRKUR Reviews

MYRKUR Mareridt

Album · 2017 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
I am increasingly convinced that the black metal scene's fixation on aesthetic kvlt purity is far and away its biggest liability. For one thing, when bands buy into it too hard it's a recipe for artistic stagnation; exactly how many bands do we need rehashing the early Darkthrone style, particularly when Darkthrone themselves already nailed it and moved on? For another, it means that whenever someone does something a bit different in a black metal context, there's inevitably a grumpy backlash.

Take Myrkur, for instance, whose debut album had a mixed reaction to say the least. Some of the backlash devolving into either lazy misogyny or quibbles about her indie pop background; those arguments we can toss aside easily, the former as the bigoted nonsense they obviously are, the latter for the absurdly closed-minded attitude they reveal. Who cares where she learned her chops if she produces decent black metal? How does it help black metal grow and evolve if the scene rigorously closes itself off to influences from outside it? Wouldn't someone who cut her teeth outside of black metal and then shifted over to it later in her career be able to bring an interestingly different perspective to bear? It's precisely this perspective which allows Myrkur to really tease out parts of the classic black metal sound which other artists take for granted.

A somewhat less risible set of criticisms came from those who dislike it when their black metal gets blended with other genres, regarding that as a dilution of the music at best, an attempt at bandwagon-hopping at worst. If that's genuinely your aesthetic outlook, fine; you probably didn't like Myrkur's M, and you certainly aren't going to enjoy Mareridt, because far from pandering to a purist audience that she'd likely have never satisfied anyway, Myrkur instead goes even further with her genre blending here, bringing to the fore the dark folk and ethereal wave influences which were already apparent on M.

Compare the covers: M had Myrkur lurking about in the distance, an indistinct shape; here she's stood out in the light, her aesthetic intentions entirely clear. Take it or leave it, guys; for my part, I consider this one of the most interesting projects in black metal today.

MYRKUR Mareridt

Album · 2017 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
MorniumGoatahl
A while ago I reviewed the debut album of Myrkur, M. This was during the build up period for this, her second full-length release, Mareridt. Just to you don't have to double back and read what I said about her in regard to that album allow me to summarize: I'm very much in the middle ground when it comes to this artist, whose work has both received strong praise and been deemed controversial, depending on who you ask. For me, to quote, M was simply an 'OK' album.

I also voiced the opinion that rather than the black metal that she is usually (erroneously in my opinion) associated with that some kind of folk metal wouldn't be a more fitting genre for her to pursue. That view has kind of come to pass on Mareridt. It is more folk than M. But the folk parts are typically used outside of the metal elements, so it instead feels like a half folk album and a half metal album, rather than an actual fusion of the two. The metal songs do have riffs that resemble black metal and like with M this is not the only style Myrkur draws from (doom also being noteworthy) and with her clean vocals now used maybe 98% (maybe even 99%) of the time, I actually find this even harder to think of as a black metal record, even by trendy blackgaze standards. This is one genre association that I believe I am doomed to never understand. Just because an artist/label says that's what they play that doesn't mean it's true!

But with that issue aside, I do have to say that I feel a lot more positive about Mareridt as an album than I have ever done about M. The song-writing has felt stronger right from the first listen. There's an issue of identity though. Mareridt is too metal for folk fans to completely enjoy and also too non-metal to be of complete worth to the average metalhead. It ultimately comes over as the kind of album that was written without the artist sure of exactly what they wanted to make, so it's left sitting dead centre on the line between two worlds. And that's the key problem with it: it's exactly the same problem that I found M to have. To quote my earlier review of M, 'the album gives me the impression that Myrkur isn't really sure where she wants to be musically.' There's obvious growth as a musician to be found on Mareridt, but not enough decision making. This one I'll declare as a step in the right direction though.

MYRKUR Mareridt

Album · 2017 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
It's fair to say the M (2015), the debut full-length album by Danish atmospheric black metal/dark folk solo project Myrkur, the moniker of musician Amalie Brunn, made quite a splash in the metal scene when it was released, albeit one that resulted in a decidedly mixed reaction. While M was nothing if not a divisive album, it's obvious that a lot of the criticism it received got well out of hand, to the point that some of the album's detractors even launched personal attacks on Brunn as a musician and as a person. Fortunately Brunn seems to have been quite thick skinned to it and rather than be perturbed she's now back with her second full-length album, Mareridt (2017).

Mareridt is in some ways similar in M, but it's also very different once you get into it. The biggest change has to be that Myrkur has used a lot more pure folk elements this time around to the point that I'd even say these make up around half the album, what with full folk songs like Crown included and the influence cropping up in at least a small way in almost every track. There's still enough metal here to think of Mareridt as a metal album though. Most of the metal songs use atmospheric black metal rhythms, though that actually only means that four of them do; Måneblôt, Elleskudt, Ulvinde and Gladiatrix, as Mareridt, Crown, De Tre Piker and Ketteren are all pure folk songs, which leaves only three further tracks on the album that don't belong primarily to either genre. The atmospheric black metal parts, when present, feel much more honed and focussed this time, making them easier to recognise even with Myrkur's atypical use of clean vocals as her primary singing style.

The metal parts on Mareridt are more varied compared to M though thanks to a greater presence of doom metal influences, something I detected only ever so slightly on M. They're much more pronounced here, particularly on the tracks The Serpent and Funeral, the latter of which proves aptly named for its style as it seems closer to funeral doom metal to me than anything. Slow, heavy, subdued and sombre work and easily the darkest sounding song on the album. It also features Chelsea Wolfe on vocals and guitars. It's a short song, as are all the songs on Mareridt, lasting only three minutes, but it's enough to show that the two ladies work well together. One can only hope this will one day lead to a proper collaboration between the two. It's just screaming to happen with this track, which barely scratches the surface of what may be possible if they joined forces for a whole album.

Regarding the vocals, there are actually less growls on Mareridt than ever before in Myrkur's music, only really being used in a major way on singles Måneblôt and Ulvinde (with a little bit in the background on Gladiatrix). With those two tracks released first it was actually really surprising how growl-free the rest of Mareridt is, but maybe that is for the best. Myrkur does decent growls, particularly the ones on Måneblôt are easily the best and fiercest she's ever done, but clean singing is where she excels. Her ethereal voice works equally well with her folk music tracks, but also against the atmospheric black metal guitars. She's proof, if any was needed by this point, that it's perfectly possible for at least the atmospheric branch of this particular genre to exist without the traditional vocal style. With that said, the growled parts do really add some extra punch and if there's a criticism to be had it's that the album could do with a couple more of these moments. But only a couple more.

While the lower amount of metal may lessen Mareridt's appeal to the metal crowd, the album flows between its soft and heavy parts incredibly well, feeling natural and not forced. While I regard M highly, Mareridt certainly feels a lot more refined and ultimately comes across as the stronger release. While there are individual track highlights to be had, namely Måneblôt, Elleskudt, Funeral and Ulvinde, the overall short running time makes it a very easy album to experience in one sitting and that's the only way to do it if you want to hear all the elements work just right. The only real eyebrow raising moment is it's finale, Børnehjem, which features a voice over that sounds like a demonic little girl. It's basically an outro fortunately, but it makes me feel as if the audio track of a cheesy horror film got mixed in by mistake. I don't think it sounds bad, more like out of place with the rest of the release. Still, I can't hold the final 2:22 minutes against Myrkur when the rest of Mareridt is such quality work. It probably won't win over her most fervent haters, but those who enjoyed the self-titled EP (2014) and M, as well as acoustic live release Mausoleum (2016), are sure to find much to enjoy here.

MYRKUR Myrkur

EP · 2014 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Unitron
Sometimes, music is more of an experience or a journey than anything else. There's nothing quite like entering the mosh pit for an Anthrax or Exodus classic, or gaping in awe of a neo-classical shredder on stage. There's also an introspective and contemplative side, which can transport the listener to a whole different world and setting. Myrkur, a Danish one-woman black metal band, rests on this side.

Myrkur takes the listener to dark hollow Gothic chambers and secluded forests, with no sign of other life. It's a spine-chilling trip among harsh black metal dirges and mystical Scandinavian folk tunes, which is one of the best and most fitting combinations I've heard. Myrkur's vocals have the perfect contrast, switching between caustic black metal shrieks and soulful choir vocalizations, both sending chills down the spine. As opposed to some black metal that is just constant chug and fast same-y guitar riffing, Myrkur creates both beautiful and stark moods with each riff, with some particularly crushing yet atmospheric hooks. The bridge and end of "Latvian Fegurd" in particular blends the heaviness of a doom metal riff, with ominous aura. "Nattens Barn" has a guitar hook that's close to thrash, which surprisingly fits on an album like this, maybe because of the layering of atmosphere.

The production suits the EP perfectly, having a crackling rawness yet, just enough cleanness to be completely audible unlike many black metal albums. The black metal tracks utilize this perfectly, while the short folk pieces speak with much clarity despite the raw edge.

If you're looking for some beautiful yet heavy black metal, Myrkur is a must listen. Take a break from the daily grind, and visit some Gothic chambers and dark forests in the comfort of your home, car, library, or wherever you enjoy listening to music. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

MYRKUR M

Album · 2015 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
MorniumGoatahl
Danish born musician Myrkur (birth name Amalie Bruun) has certainly picked up a dedicated following and more than her fair share of haters since the release of her debut album M a couple of years ago. She's currently building up to the release of a second, Mareridt, so I figured that now would be an ideal time to put my thoughts down about M. Her fans seem to treat her like she's the best thing since sliced bread while her haters will go out of their way to pull the album to bits and the more vehement ones have even seen fit to insult her personally, which to her credit she really takes in her stride.

Personally I find myself in the middle of these two groups. I am not a fan of the album M per se, but I certainly don't hate it either. One thing that is for sure is that it's nowhere near as bad as the woman's haters would have you believe, but I don't see it as a particularly special release either. It's listenable music at the very least.

Myrkur is associated with the black metal genre but to be honest I don't really hear it too much in this release. The vocal work is mostly clean with only a few parts where she actually uses any growls and for me those are a big part of what makes black metal what it is, though it's also not enough to preclude the release from being considered as such. Ulver, a band which is known to have been a big influence of Myrkur's music (Garm co-produced this album as well), had the first song on Bergtatt using only clean singing and that is definitely a black metal song, but my issue here is that I rarely hear musical techniques that sound black metal, beyond the production sound which does fit the bill. Instead there seems to be bits and pieces thrown together that could fit a number of metal styles. Often it seems that the most unifying element in the album is the use of Nordic folk music, which given Myrkur's fondness of clean vocals over growls makes me wonder if creating some kind of folk metal wouldn't be more her forte.

As is, the album gives me the impression that Myrkur isn't really sure where she wants to be musically. If this is an earnest attempt at a black metal release then it's really not great, but the end product does have its charm. Myrkur's clean singing voice especially, is very good. But I do think she needs to decide whether she really wants to be a black metal artist (which would require her to find some more black metal elements from somewhere) or something else (in which case it may be to her benefit to get rid of what black metal elements she does have on M). I'll be checking out Mareridt out of curiosity when it drops, but for me M will always be simply 'OK'.

3.0/5.0

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