Myrkur
M


2.4
average

Review

by Xenophanes STAFF
August 25th, 2015 | 264 replies


Release Date: 08/21/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Myrkur is the musician that black metal needs, even if the same can't be said of "M."

The black metal ethos has become a caricature of itself. Nameless men beneath cowls of black have replaced the pale characters of the genre’s past, but nothing much has changed. Black metal thrives with band’s remaining anonymous figures making music in their basements or woods or whatever. It’s a fitting style given the music, but a body of work can only support so many Thantifaxaths before crumbling.

Then Myrkur comes along and suddenly everything seems fine.

Myrkur is a one woman act from the Denmark. She is, in essence, the complete opposite of the stale black metal image while also the embodiment of all things the genre stands for. She is the musician that black metal needs. Her face is recognizable. She has presence. Myrkur does not hide behind silly facepaint or painfully contrived back stories. With the crassness and edge of rock star she commits to social media posts while still posting photos in woods with wolves. She is the black metal image inversed and palatably crafted. Once again, Myrkur is the musician that black metal needs.

M, on the other hand, is not the album black metal needs.

M is Myrkur’s first attempt at a full length, riding the success of her self-titled EP. Unlike that enjoyable taste of Myrkur’s take on black metal, M comes off as incredibly generic; an album pandering to people with a base understanding and appreciation for the genre. This was her chance to kill it. M could have been a twisted look at the genre’s past with a fond look ahead towards the future. Instead, listeners are treated to tracks like “Heavnen,” which bumble with absolutely no style or panache whatsoever. Her cleans intermingled with her screams are the saving grace here, as Myrkur is a varied and talented vocalist. However, when “Onde Born” roll around it feels shockingly cheesy.

A lot of M sounds as if it should grace the background of a Dateline special discussing “satanic metal.” It’s so bland and vanilla that one can’t help but feel like it should have been named “Stock Black Metal: C.” Slow, clunky guitars grace nearly every track, with the floaty Chelsea Wolfe-esque atmosphere making up for the lack of character. It’s ironic that this produced by Garm, as songs like “Skogen Skulle Do” and “Jeg er Guden, I Er Tjenerne” sound like really unflattering attempts to recreate early to mid Ulver. But it sounds fine, from a traditional stand point. The mixing is pretty stellar and the backing instruments blend seamlessly with the vocals. The air around Myrkur is foggy and warm, which helps an otherwise stagnant and forgettable sound.

Myrkur is on to something. Her black metal lite sound is almost fresh and exciting. She employs the aura of early second wave ambient black metal without expressly ripping it off. It’s interesting to say the least, and it’s safe to say that she has it in her to release something pretty spectacular someday. Sadly, that day is not today. M is painfully bland and too on the nose. The generic nods to the genre’s past create a haze that covers everything else that is trying desperately to bring black metal into the future. It isn’t worth it, M, even if its creator is.



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user ratings (195)
Chart.
2.8
good
related reviews

Mareridt

Myrkur

Comments:Add a Comment 
zaruyache
August 24th 2015


19812 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

*It’s ironic that this was produced by Garm



good review pos'd, but I think this is too positive given how clunky and unmemorable everything here is.

Digging: Dakhma - Suna Kulto

Hawks
August 24th 2015


62244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I dig what she's trying to do and maybe one day she can release a "great" album, but this just gets boring. It's not a bad album, just doesn't really go anywhere. Pretty much the same problem she had on the s/t.



Clean vox are amazing though.

Digging: Douglas Pipes - Monster House

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2015


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

she's a sick vocalist but her music just isnt that interesting

Hawks
August 24th 2015


62244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed Game. Like this and the s/t are both decent just because of how good her vox are.



I mean some of the ambient bits are cool, but for the most part this is just bland.

zaruyache
August 24th 2015


19812 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

the whole album is one giant identity crisis that needs to be sorted out; she needs to either figure out how to actually flow between the 3-ish styles presented here more effectively, or scrap the others and focus on actually perfecting one. Her Enya-black metal is a cool idea, but the songs representing that style are too short and underdeveloped. Like, stretch them out to 6 minutes, put the piano and clean ambient stuff in with them and make some dynamic ambient/black metal tracks instead. Unless she can fix her guitar tone and actually make her real black metaly riffs actually sound powerful, she should ditch the whole "evil blasty bm" schtick completely. /rant

someguest
August 24th 2015


29865 Comments


Yeah, this is a 3. It's a decent debut.

Judio!
August 24th 2015


8433 Comments


Very well-written review, although this is probably harsher than the review I was gonna write.

Crysis
Emeritus
August 24th 2015


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this was garbage

someguest
August 24th 2015


29865 Comments


It's a scene that desperately needs some more female input.

Crysis
Emeritus
August 24th 2015


17363 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

the guitar riffs are so fucking clunky and shoehorned together it's embarassing

someguest
August 24th 2015


29865 Comments


I really enjoy the tracks that aren't black metal on this record, but the black metal ones aren't bad. I didn't say there weren't female musicians in black metal, I said it needed more female input (which it does). It isn't groundbreaking.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2015


1469 Comments

Album Rating: 2.4

Excellent input. It's the same reason I didn't mention her gender in the review. Black metal is probably the most welcoming scene for women (as far as metal is concerned). I don't feel like her gender is being marketed so much as the uninitiated are playing up its impact on the music. Various reviews make a big deal out of it but I find that they have minimal knowledge of metal as a whole.

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2015


1469 Comments

Album Rating: 2.4

I DO feel that her persona is being marketed and for reasons I stated, I actually really appreciate it. Black metal has become embarrassingly dull when it comes to how a band presents itself. I'm tired of the anonymous members or ghostly figures. I think a sort of "idol" is pretty interesting and a breath of fresh air.



zaruyache
August 24th 2015


19812 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

power metal >>> bm in terms of female-friendliness

metal definitely needs more female outreach, especially extreme metal.

zaruyache
August 24th 2015


19812 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

There's definitely a cultural divide, too. In the black metal groups I've been in on facebook there always seem to be a surprising amount of women into blackgaze stuff, but whenever I check they always seem to be like European/Russian/Ukrainian and never American. Makes sense when you figure how big Nightwish is over there and pretty much nobody's heard of them in the states.

titanslayer
August 25th 2015


2713 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

musically this wasn't bad or good, but those clean vocals man

Tuoni
August 25th 2015


9 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Was expecting sooo much more, kind of a let down..

KevinKC
August 25th 2015


846 Comments


Myrkur is the musician that black metal needs, even if the same can't be said of "M."
M can't be "the musician black metal needs" as it is an album anyway.


SCREAM!
August 25th 2015


15754 Comments


"M can't be "the musician black metal needs" as it is an album anyway."

How far up is that stick man?

SCREAM!
August 25th 2015


15754 Comments


"Excellent input. It's the same reason I didn't mention her gender in the review."

But you did: "Myrkur is a one woman act from the Denmark."

Also you might want to fix that "the Denmark." ;)



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