Myrkur - Mareridt review




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Reviewer:
8.5

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7.95
Band: Myrkur
Album: Mareridt
Release date: September 2017


01. Mareridt
02. Måneblôt
03. The Serpent
04. Crown
05. Elleskudt
06. De Tre Piker
07. Funeral [feat: Chelsea Wolfe]
08. Ulvinde
09. Gladiatrix
10. Kætteren
11. Børnehjem
12. Death Οf Days [bonus]
13. Kvindelil [bonus] [feat: Chelsea Wolfe]
14. Løven [bonus]
15. Himlen Blev Sort [bonus]
16. Två Konungabarn [bonus]


Myrkur hasn't stopped making waves in the metal scene since unveiling her self-titled EP in 2014, and Mareridt, the project's second full-length, suggests that those waves are only going to get bigger and bigger with the passage of time.

Myrkur explores further the blend of dramatic, reverberant vocal music and atmosphere-driven black metal that we previously heard on M, now a stronger and more established artist. Mareridt focuses less on the black metal overall; the use of harsh vocals and blastbeats has greatly diminished in favor of less metal elements, particularly folk. Many critics, and I'd probably count myself among them, found the pure black metal passages among the weakest moments of M, so hearing Myrkur continue to expand her sonic palette here is a major plus. The instruments in play and the genres they're applied to have both multiplied. The somber, vespertine mysticism whispering through the halls of this album, best exemplified on tracks like "Crown" and "Elleskudt," has not only a distinctly Nordic flavor that echoes very root-conscious artists like Wardruna, but gothic elegance and an overwhelming impression of unearthly age.

Mareridt could be called a black metal album, yes, but that is often a result of the atmosphere more than the actual musical content. More often than straight black metal, the album calls on folk, ambient, and choral music, and beyond that, no two songs seem to share a soul, no two quite belonging to the same genre. The album constantly evolves, constantly alters its flow, introducing new techniques and ideas while preserving the same rich and rustically frightening atmosphere. "Funeral," a collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe, is a heady dirge recognizable as an appropriate Wolfe feature, while its successor, "Ulvinde," is about the most traditional black metal piece on the album - and even then, layers of astral vocal harmonies make the tune as much oneiric odyssey as raw evil.

This album strikes me as the aural equivalent of the film The Witch. There's an enforced greyness, a haunting minimalism, that, rather than restricting the work from producing new and interesting methods of mood-making, proves how versatile and colorful a few simple tricks can be when arranged properly. There's a sense of solitude that is almost calming but still pricks up the hairs on the back of your neck; Myrkur's chilling voice swings back and forth from style to style, a perfect fit for all the sounds this album encompasses.

I would call Mareridt, without reservation, the strongest entry in Myrkur's discography thus far. M is itself a very strong atmospheric black metal album, but the maturation and improvement that Myrkur has undergone between these two releases is incredible. Mareridt's sound is so much broader and more interesting, the songwriting so much stronger that Myrkur is officially more than a competent atmoblack project with interesting vocal techniques; this is now a changed band with its own personality that can hold its own against all comers.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 16.10.2017 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 17   Visited by: 255 users
16.10.2017 - 08:09
Lord Slothrop
A well written review. This is one of my favorites of the year... so far.
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16.10.2017 - 12:23
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Yes, I agree with a few points made on the review. It's definitely better than M and more diverse and interesting overall.

I really liked this one and the focus on the folk and ambient elements. The collab piece with Wolfe was also pretty cool. I'd also rate it similarly.

An enjoyable album in the end but I do agree that the "waves are only going to get bigger and bigger" just because her music seems to be so polarizing, coupled with the fact that she has a vagina
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
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16.10.2017 - 17:28
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by BloodTears on 16.10.2017 at 12:23

An enjoyable album in the end but I do agree that the "waves are only going to get bigger and bigger" just because her music seems to be so polarizing, coupled with the fact that she has a vagina

This review was actually quite annoying to write in some aspects because I knew that, no matter what I said about the album, some people were going to assume I said it only because Myrkur is a woman, which is evidently reason enough in some people's minds to laud or lambast an album. It's silly, but I'm very confident in the independent quality of this album, so if it gets more exposure in the end, it won't be all bad.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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17.10.2017 - 17:13
Bad English
Masterchief
Not metal anymore, I agree, seems Mary was right in some parts what she said about her. Ammalie is not metalhead, just somebody who plays some BM music. Nachtlieder is better female BM band.
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I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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17.10.2017 - 23:33
WinterMadness
I haven't read too much into the supposed drama around Myrkur; therefore, my opinions to follow regarding her work and its subsequent critics are relatively uninformed...but I do find one thing funny.
Sure there are those who write off her work because "she's a woman".
But it seems everyone else is writing off any and all criticism of her work because "oh, they only don't like it because she's a woman".
It's one thing to denounce sexism, but it's another to denounce anyone who criticizes a woman as sexist.
Again, I'm not sure how much of each is going on, but just a cautionary statement.
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18.10.2017 - 01:03
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by WinterMadness on 17.10.2017 at 23:33

I haven't read too much into the supposed drama around Myrkur; therefore, my opinions to follow regarding her work and its subsequent critics are relatively uninformed...but I do find one thing funny.
Sure there are those who write off her work because "she's a woman".
But it seems everyone else is writing off any and all criticism of her work because "oh, they only don't like it because she's a woman".
It's one thing to denounce sexism, but it's another to denounce anyone who criticizes a woman as sexist.
Again, I'm not sure how much of each is going on, but just a cautionary statement.

The road certainly runs both ways, and I'd guess the severity and proportions vary from artist to artist, but with Myrkur particularly, I believe it trends strongly towards people discounting her work entirely due to her being a woman. There was a scandal earlier this year wherein she revealed numerous death threats she had received as a result of being a woman and playing not-strictly-black metal.

As you say, however, there are also people willing to prop her up for the same reason, which is patronizing and dishonest, and why my review reflects only an honest, personal assessment of the works in question.
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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23.10.2017 - 05:03
Tuonelan
She's clearly talented enough to make it as a mainstream neo-folk artist like Lorena McKennitt. I guess the reason she does the BM thing is just for the fame and money...

Or, she does it because it's what she's interested in doing and interested enough to put up with the endless bullshit she's given.

Good album. Interesting ideas. Sounds like no one else. She's still playing with some new ideas and finding her voice a bit and it continues to sound promising.

Fuck it...good enough for me.
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Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy
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23.10.2017 - 23:13
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
I thought people disliked Myrkur not because she's a woman but because she used to be/is a pop singer...
Both reasons are dumb anyway... So is the "she's not a metalhead" :p

At any rate I agree this is her best album so far. Would probably rate it similar
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2016
2017
2018
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23.10.2017 - 23:45
VIG
Viggg
Written by Karlabos on 23.10.2017 at 23:13

I thought people disliked Myrkur not because she's a woman but because she used to be/is a pop singer...

I heard something about this. I would actually like to hear one of her songs as a pop singer.
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23.10.2017 - 23:48
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by VIG on 23.10.2017 at 23:45

Written by Karlabos on 23.10.2017 at 23:13

I thought people disliked Myrkur not because she's a woman but because she used to be/is a pop singer...

I heard something about this. I would actually like to hear one of her songs as a pop singer.

Her band is called Ex Cops (for instance)
She doesn't do ethereal chanting though, so it's just pop...
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2016
2017
2018
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23.10.2017 - 23:50
VIG
Viggg
Written by Karlabos on 23.10.2017 at 23:48

Her band is called Ex Cops (for instance)
She doesn't do ethereal chanting though, so it's just pop...

I thought it was another solo project, her pop stuff. It says so on her profile here.
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23.10.2017 - 23:53
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by VIG on 23.10.2017 at 23:50

Written by Karlabos on 23.10.2017 at 23:48

Her band is called Ex Cops (for instance)
She doesn't do ethereal chanting though, so it's just pop...

I thought it was another solo project, her pop stuff. It says so on her profile here.

Oh yes, there's also the solo project Amalie Bruun. It goes toward the same line ax Ex Cops though
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2016
2017
2018
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23.10.2017 - 23:54
VIG
Viggg
Written by Karlabos on 23.10.2017 at 23:53

Oh yes, there's also the solo project Amalie Bruun. It goes toward the same line ax Ex Cops though

Ok, then.
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24.10.2017 - 05:41
Alex F
Slick Dick Rick
Written by Karlabos on 23.10.2017 at 23:48

Her band is called Ex Cops (for instance)
She doesn't do ethereal chanting though, so it's just pop...

This is so good what the fuck. Exactly the kind of pop I'm into (or at least that track is), had no idea she did this as well. Funnily, I seem to like this Ex Cops project significantly more than Myrkur.
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27.10.2017 - 11:45
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
Is there free online stream for this album?
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The Fangirl.
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27.10.2017 - 17:10
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Angel N. on 27.10.2017 at 11:45

Is there free online stream for this album?

Relapse Records has a full stream here.
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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17.06.2018 - 21:47
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
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Seinfeld: I can't be with someone like me! I hate myself!
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