Myrkur
Mareridt


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chamberbelain USER (157 Reviews)
September 15th, 2017 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Op under Fjeldet toner en Lur

At its most respectful, the amount of whining that Myrkur’s debut was welcomed with was hilariously exaggerated but at its worst was straight up spiteful. Accused of delving into a scene she had no business interfering with, Amalie Bruun didn’t exactly offer black metal a new aesthetic with 2015’s credible “M”, however, along with her open charisma, the album offered plenty of intriguing sharp bends and abrupt swerves within the songs to recognise her as an artist capable of becoming something far better than she currently was.

Myrkur resides in a grey area. In one hand, she paints the typical bleak features of Norwegian Black metal into the landscape of her sophomore album, “Mareridt”. Sewn together by textures of horns, strings and bleak, oceanic waves of tremolo guitar shrouded in lo-fi production, “Elleskudt” and “Måneblôt” projects feelings of ominousness and grim triumph. On the other hand, she contrasts these heavier aspects with pearly atmospheric singing, gentle melodies and subtly climactic vocal harmonies throughout the album. This candescent singing is used most prominently in the opening title track where she announces her presence by way of kulning- a Scandinavian herding call, high-pitched and resonant amongst samples of storms and rainfall. When Myrkur combines these two presences together, the outcome is a concoction of various emotions battling against one another in a malleable atmosphere that only she can command. Ice and Fire. Sharp and Soft. Light and Darkness. Somewhere between all these opposing definitions is where Myrkur chooses to dwell.

From the two-toned artwork, the rustic and modern instruments played alongside each other and the nightmarish concept of the album, there is an omnipresent expression of conflict captured in every part of “Mareridt”. The core distinction in this lies within the varying moods that each song conveys. Sonically, the leaps between Amalie’s rasping shrieks and her harmonious serenades are dramatically less erratic and coarsely edited than they were on “M”. Instead, the blood-curdling snarls arrive more naturally and purposefully. Artistically, in songs such as “Ulvinde” and “Gladiatrix”, where the heavenly wails twist into witchlike snarls and the waving guitars contort into a sinister tone, these irregular shifts in moods perfectly reflects the lucid intermittency and morphing imagery of nightmares, of which the album is conceptually based on; another way in which Myrkur simultaneously contrasts two opposing features to positive effect.

Aside from the ridiculous delivery of the spoken-word track (given the seriousness of her narrative) in “Børnehjem”, some songs are more straightforward in character and focus on nothing more than enveloping you in their atmospheric embraces. Featuring a sly, sinuous stoner riff, “The Serpent” concentrates on Myrkur’s dark side while her clean vocals express a bewitching attitude. Alongside her Nyckelharpa and simplistic piano chords, “Crown” isolates Amalie’s beautiful vocals, carefully exposing her origins as an indie pop singer, whereas “Funeral” lies in between the intensities of these two former tracks. Here, Chelsea Wolfe lends her own gothic sensibility and together she and Amalie conjure a dark climax of delirious incantations spiralling over the smoky basslines.

A statement of intent and a clarion call to push its genre’s boundaries further than ever, “Mareridt” is an immersive record and nontraditional in its sound and performance. Many will continue to believe Myrkur is simply dreary; others may find themselves intrigued by her unique approach. Perhaps this album is intended to diversify" Freedom, innovation, controversy and diversification are the foundations that black metal and extreme metal is built upon, and in retrospect, this album and the artist behind it encapsulates everything about the genre.



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user ratings (75)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (3.5)
Overall, Mareridt sees Myrkur advancing toward a distinct vision though still falling a little short...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BlackwaterPork
September 15th 2017


1791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You beat me to it again...

Digging: CunninLynguists - Oneirology

BlackwaterPork
September 15th 2017


1791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, btw. I'll give you a pos.

Sinternet
September 15th 2017


14869 Comments


good review pos

never really understood the massively hyperbolic backlash for what was an average bm album in her debut, may check this

Egarran
September 15th 2017


4140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You had me at grim triumph.

Digging: Mesarthim - .- -?.?.?. .?.?. . -. -?.?-?. .

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2017


2431 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So much more consistent and creative than anything on Myrkur's debut in my opinion.

Digging: Aosoth - V: The Inside Scriptures

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2017


938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review. i'll have to check this out

Dewinged
September 15th 2017


6483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A Chamb's review! Automatic pos.



Was looking forward to this, happy to see that 4.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Tower

DungeonBoy
September 15th 2017


3250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos dude. Will definitely check this out. M wasn't amazing, but it really wasn't as terrible as people make it out to be IMO. I always feel the need to plug her live album Mausoleum because it is a stunning performance:



https://myrkur.bandcamp.com/album/mausoleum



Gonna give this a spin now!

Evokaphile
September 15th 2017


5952 Comments


Great review

Digging: Chaos Moon - Eschaton Mmoire

zaruyache
September 15th 2017


17935 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

o u lil sht i had a rev half done >:|





also this is only a 3/5 tho so fk u

Egarran
September 15th 2017


4140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My player labels this as dubstep.

Still waiting for the drop.

Evokaphile
September 16th 2017


5952 Comments


Damn they've really improved. I was honestly expecting this to suck.

Pho3nix
September 17th 2017


360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still like her first EP the most, but wow what an improvement over her debut! this was a nice surprise.

Hawks
September 17th 2017


51983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

About to jam this now. Never thought anything she made was offensively bad, but nothing she's done is worth going back to tbh.



Hopefully this changes that. :]

Digging: Gamma Ray - Land of the Free

Hawks
September 17th 2017


51983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alright yeah one listen in and this is already the best thing she's ever done hands down. It's like she finally put everything together and it's nowhere near as messy or all over the place as the EP and/or the first album.



She finally got the ambient, folk and bm parts melding together as one and her vox are still as great as they always were. Pleasantly surprised with this considering I was also expecting it to suck hard. Also, the outro is one of the most terrifying things I've ever heard on an album lol.

Asdfp277
September 17th 2017


15834 Comments


welp, so now she's making good music? color me surprised, will check this

Hawks
September 17th 2017


51983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this rules hard bro. Perfect blend of atmospheric bm, folk, and ambient.

Dinosaur
September 17th 2017


1107 Comments


honestly more turned off by the bandwagon mentality that has followed her releases than the music itself. at any rate i'll give this a shot

zaruyache
September 17th 2017


17935 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

"the outro is one of the most terrifying things I've ever heard on an album lol."





Woah woah for real? We're talking about Børnehjem, right? A little girl voice giggling about killing people? It's hilariously bad and ruins the end of the album.

Hawks
September 17th 2017


51983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Noooooo bro I think it's well done and it's like a minute long it doesn't ruin anything tbh.



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