Myrkur
Myrkur EP

As expected from the fickle metal community there has been both a lot of hype and hate towards the debut release from this one woman black metal project from Denmark. From the elitist ‘no women in black metal’ to ‘Deafheaven suck’ crowd and those that think this is the future of black metal. And as is normal, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Frankly, this isn’t worth either the hype or the hate. Sure, it’s a lady (Amelie Bruun) and she performs all the vocals and instruments (except the  programmed drums done by Rex Mynur), but that makes it no more hateful or commendable in my eyes. What we do have is a pretty promising EP that certainly has some moments, but those moments are truthfully rendered when Myrkur is delivering her absolutely angelic clean vocals in this 24 minute EP’s many quieter, cleaner more ethereal moments.

The black metal component, I’ve seen compared to Deafheaven and Alcest, but other than the more melodic and jangly, less satanic riffage, I don’t hear it, and I imagine the promo sticker is more to move units and get attention rather than what it actually sounds like. What I do hear is a really strong Bergtatt era Ulver, Heart of the Ages In the Woods mixed with the brittle tone of some early Darkthrone — it’s shrill and tinny, but has a natural woodsy, misty ambiance that’s likable. However, it seems a bit piecemeal, as the show stopper is those aforementioned intros, segues and close outs that are more folk, organic clean harmonies.

The simplistic riffs themselves are pretty forgettable such as “Ravenes Banner”, “Dybt i skoven” or “Må du brænde i helvede”, but the interplay with her simply gorgeous clean vocals (her black shrieks are acceptable but hardly groundbreaking) and introspective moments make it much more evocative as heard to start “Ravenes banner”, “Latvian fegurð”, closing outro “Ulvesangen” or the EP’s 6+ minute centerpiece “Nattens Barn”.

And in truth, I could appreciate Myrkur much more if released as a sort of Prophecy Productions, neo folk act focusing on those elements rather than shoehorning some competent but rather bland black metal into the mix. But as it stands, credit where credit is due and Myrkur and Relapse has certainly gotten everyone’s attention, now the question is — can they keep it for a full-length album or is Myrkur doomed to be a merely female footnote in the annals of black metal? I hope not.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 15th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Cirkus-lizard

    Pretty spot on review. I’ve only previewed the samples on bandcamp, but it seemed like the ep was full of some interesting bits, not songs. Riff transitions were pretty weak and there wasn’t much cohesion.


  2. Commented by: Longdeadgod

    Agree with the review and previous comment, love the clean vocals and folky parts(while being nothing original in themselves), but the more metal moments don’t seem to gel together very well, and are fairly weak generic riffs overall.

    It’s really to bad with all the excellent unsigned bands out there that something like this is getting a heavy push.


  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    spot on, I find the clean/ethereal sections way more entrancing than the black metal segments, which are pretty faceless and forgettable. given that most (younger) listeners today may not have heard Bergtatt or Kveldssanger (or even heard of Ulver), this is mostly an example of effective PR. who knows, maybe it will convert some curious Paramore fans…


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