Since the very beginning of the MYRKUR project by Amalie Bruun, a talented Danish musician, many hardcore fans of old-school black metal have been complaining about the ‘hipster-ization’ of the specific music genre by many musicians. MYRKUR was critically claimed by many as a band which does not aligns with the old-school black metal feeling and produce ‘fake’ music, if there is such a term. In my opinion, fans are always up for the same bullshit.

Consequently, I choose to begin the specific review of ‘M’, MYRKUR’s first full-length record, by stating that MYRKUR is not a pure black metal band, but a band influenced by black metal! The record can be characterized as an ethereal one, a spiritual one. Amalie’s deep, calm and melodic voice overwhelms the outcome of many haunting and dark melodies, into an album that aims to stimulate the listener’s senses in every possible way. ‘Μ’ is for sure better than the mediocre EP the band released before and has finally something distinct to offer.

In order to be specific about ‘M’, I feel the need to label the tracks into two major categories. There are the aggressive ones; the black metal ones. Those are songs which combine black metal riffs with the splendid, harsh growls of Amalie’s. The other category refers to songs that contain no electric guitars or black metal riffs, but pagan, ambient melodies and theatrical vocal lines(‘Haevnen’ for instance combines both styles). Those two categories balance the record in an excellent way. There is no chance of somebody to feel the need to skip a song, because records like ‘M’ must be enjoyed entirely. Try to imagine the record as an elixir, which must be wholly consumed in order to offer its magical services to the one owning it.

I found myself lost in the record’s ambient mood. The spirituality, the motion behind each instrument’s melody, the sense hidden behind mystery, all those are packaged together in ‘M’, ready to fulfill the demanding desires of the listener. Black metal can be found within the tracks, but it is only an expression of feelings, rather than another way to label the outcome of a musician’s fantasy. What is believed to be missing from the record is a simple factor: time. The record needed around 10 minutes more (or two significant, heavy tracks) of pure black metal to bond everything together and produce a perfect outcome.

For everyone keen into ambient black metal, MYRKUR will be the project of the year. For sure, the record will accompany its listener for a long time, through winter and nights and I hope MYRKUR will continue to engage us into their musical journey.

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