Amit Sharma on Myrkur’s Mareridt
There’s a ghostly brilliance to Myrkur’s music – one that ascends from the blackened pits of extreme metal into folky lullabies that make you feel like you’re floating on thin air.
The solo project by classically-trained Danish musician Amalie Bruun enjoyed a successful debut, but this September’s second full-length, Mareridt, looks set to see her anointed as the new queen of black metal.
Though, truth be told, there’s a lot more going on than that – the haunting pianos and icy synths are reminiscent of Trent Reznor’s godlike genius in places, while the Celtic melodies in her clean vocals wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the Braveheart soundtrack.
There is plenty of warmth in the strings, choral arrangements and ancient Swedish harps, but also plenty of colder and harsher noise; in the places where it isn’t extreme metal, it still very much feels like extreme music.
These blackened ballads are as scathing as they are meditative – challenging listeners in new ways, rather than relying on the tried and tested.
Would she have been as successful during black metal’s notoriously-murderous early-’90s heyday? It’s hard to say – times have changed – and make no mistake, it’s good a thing they have.
Amit Sharma (@666amit)
Writer, (Kerrang!, Total Guitar)