Amalie Brunn’s pop gone rogue project Myrkur is a finely polished eerie sentimental toast to black metal and the old north. Although I honor her commitment to awakening that spirit of extreme black metal that she fostered in her youth (and probably has genetically encoded in her sweet Danish DNA), it’s her eclectic new spin on the fabric of black metal that I like when she brings her music to the table. There’s something decent and reasonable about her style, and I believe she is tapped into something in black metal that people aren’t often listening to in their mad rush to out kvlt one another.
She made her point on M, but Mausoleum is a fitting counter point, a pendulum shift into brave and daring territory with a choir of girls recording in one of Oslo’s famous mausoleums. This album is soft, but soft like the creeping cold of a snow that could kill you. Imagine if you will a nice evening stroll through Nifelheim with Freyja, and that’s sort of where I’m going with this music. Not only has she done something very different, but her maturity as an artist and singer has really revealed itself on this album as well.
There’s nothing wrong with a little art form, and when it comes to conveying the somber and enchanting melodies of old northern European folk, Myrkur does it quite well. Balancing out harmonies that are both dark and uplifting is quite the trick, and you’ll see a lot of that on Mausoleum. Her voice contains a hint of childlike innocence, which goes wonderfully with the mystique captured in these tombs with the vocal support of the Norwegian Girls Choir.
Also, the cover to Bathory’s “Song To Hall Up High” does no injustice to the late legend Quorthon. In fact her rendition adds to the legacy of the seminal Viking metal ballad. There is something deep and meaningful in this song that shines out among so many of Bathory’s incredible tracks. It can be felt and move through anyone inspired by what the song is about.
Throughout it all, Amalie’s composition and depiction of the indomitable and tragic spirit of the north is excellently done and beautifully written. She certainly has an exceptional strength in crafting melodies, and I certainly look forward to hearing more from this Relapse artist.