Myrkur – Mareridt (Album Review)

What could be better than a one woman Black Metal band with ambient, Gothic appeal from Denmark? The answer that ranks highest to the question is not much, and with that there are very few and far between quite like Myrkur.

As a fresh new band, originating only three years ago, Frontwoman/Mastermind Amalie Bruun created the entire vision herself. Quickly rising to fame, every time a mention of her is aired publicly new fans immediately are compelled. As far as the genre of Black Metal is concerned, Myrkur is a hybrid where she mixes her beautiful clean ambient vocals and serene Folk-type instrumentation with Gothic splashes of harsh guitar and blackened screams. The result is breathtakingly beautiful, dark, deep, and shocking all at once.

The mysticism of Myrkur creates an eerie mood that builds from serene white light to a dark brutal scream and energy reminiscent of a banshee. This in mind, the second studio album, Mareridt, promises to continue the journey of this unique act. Set for release Friday, Sept 15th, 2017 via Relapse Records, Mareridt is beautifully mastered with such mystery and grace enhanced by magic of a spiritual and dark nature combined.

As a follow-up to the 2015 debut studio album, simply entitled M, Mareridt is a more rich attempt at sweet serenity overlaid with sprites of sharp darkness which, as a combination, works wonderfully well. Bruun’s previous work in Ex-Cops and solo EPs revealed her identity in Myrkur, further exemplify her amazing vocal talents. At only thirty-two years old, she is casting her spell on the entire world with her metaphorically leather and lace musical contradictions.

All this in mind, the essence of Mareridt begins with the title-track sung in her own sermon style dialect in an echo-enhanced serenity of cultural competence. The next track, “Måneblôt,” jumps into Black Metal guitar and growls fluctuated into some very soprano octave clean whispered vocals. This is then overlaid with Folk instrumentation and again interrupted by the Black Metal elements. In a way, it almost is reminiscent of an early day Björk gone Black Metal.

Even her mix of the dialect from her native language to English, the introduction of certain songs such as “The Serpent” and “Gladiatrix” are beautiful transitions and a refreshing stab at the purity of humanity. The chorus vocal overlays are hard to comprehend in terms of if she is overlaying her own vocals or harmonizing on top of someone else’s. That said, on “Funeral,” she benefits from a collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe. Making for a phenomenal unity, they mix Blackened Doom elements with the harmonization between their illuminating vocals.

Following next, “Ulvinde” is a very mass-marketable tune that really will succeed in furthering Myrkur’s fan base even beyond the Metal world. This is before Mareridt reaches its end with the ethereal “Børnehjem.” Offering a creepy voice of an echo, it is enhanced by a possessed English spoken childlike sermon underplayed with hymn-styled condemned humming.

There is no stone unturned with Mareridt and one listen is not even close to enough to grasp the beauty and darkness it gifts. In the genre, there has not been anything close to this dynamic contradiction of creativity in a long while. The daily increased recognition of Myrkur proves this as one of the hottest eclectic acts out, so do not be late to the party, check it out now! CrypticRock shows their gratitude to this dark piece of art giving Mareridt 5 out of 5 stars. 

Main photo credit: Daria Endresen
Purchase Mareridt:
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