It may seem like MYRKUR (Amalie Bruun) has something to prove in the black metal genre, but she doesn't. If her self-titled EP, first full-length "M" and recent live album "Mausoleum" haven't won you over, then nothing will. Mixing furious screeching vocals with melodic, gorgeous singing, she stretched the boundaries of what we consider black metal. "M" was a tag-team of two enormously different genres melding nicely into one. "Mausoleum" threw a wrench in the socket with non-existent black metal vocals, leaving us to focus solely on her beautiful siren-like voice, shimmering and rising to a crescendo unlike any other vocalist I can name.
Second full-length "Mareridt" is her levelling of footing, firmly planting herself in the roots of her form of black metal, showing us the genre is more an idea than a particular sound. The ear-splitting folkish wailings from title-track 'Mareridt' sets the stage for an ambient, atmospheric journey, unbridled in its soothing delivery of vocals. And yes, the word 'vocals" will be mentioned abundantly as MYRKUR's voice is the reason we listen. Immediately, with the opening of 'Maneblot', comes aggressive screaming that quickly shutters into her mesmerizing singing, with a little folkish instruments thrown in for good measure. Alternating between angst and beauty, this track will fucking bring chills down your spine. 'The Serpent' begins with metal guitars and a steady, mid-tempo delivery before spiraling upward into the heavens. MYRKUR never stops in her tracks. Every song shivers and shakes off the song that came before it, morphing into a new sound with each beat of the drum. 'Crown' is a dreamlike segue into 'Elleskudt', a heavier, majestic sonic gift of bliss which slows and escalates throughout. 'De Tre Piker' begins the second half. And though the music behind her voice is beautiful, it could easily accomplish the same thing acapella. Because again, its her voice that brings us to a high unlike any drug could accomplish. Seventh track 'Funeral' is a dirge that loses no emotions in this heart-enveloping album. I can keep on and on attempting to come up with new adjectives to describe her vocals and the intense, yet enlightening music within. But there are only so many ways to describe "Mareridt". And although there seem to be less black metal vocals on this album, know this...MYRKUR will continue to astound you. She'll plant a kiss on you one moment and rip your fucking throat out the next, all the while leaving you wanting more.